Casa Fabiola - Donacion de Arte Mariono Bellver
This collection of Sevillano costumbrista paintings, sculpture, furniture and porcelain is on show in a mansion in Barrio Santa Cruz.
Donated to the city by the art collector Mariano Bellver, this collection of 567 works encompasses (mostly 19th century) painting, sculpture, porcelain and religious pieces. In each of the 13 rooms, there is an explanatory panel in both English and Spanish.
You can see romantic depictions of folkloric Seville and surrounding countryside, showing Semana Santa (Holy Week), the Feria de Abril (the Spring Fair), traditional patios, and pastoral romerias (pilgrimages) featuring nazarenos wearing pointed hoods, women in flamenco dresses and men riding horses. What strikes the viewer is how little has changed in these typically Andalucian scenes, especially Seville’s main monuments and events.
In the first room on the ground floor, Room 1, entitled Foreign Travellers and Painters, you’ll find an interesting selection of paintings by 19th-century French and English artists the viajeros extranjeros, who came to stay and work in Seville from the 1830s onwards. Look out for Robert Kemm’s Goya-ish The Melon Seller and George Wynne Apperley’s Young Girl Dancing. Other artists of note include John Frederick Lewis, and the writer and amateur painter Richard Ford.
Well-known Spanish artists whose works can be seen are Valeriano Dominguez Becquer, brother of the poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, and Gonzalo Bilbao.
On the first floor are rooms with statues of baby Jesus (with mirrors behind, so you can see all the detail), street scenes of gypsy cigarette girls, and Semana Santa processions with nazarenos and Roman centurions from the Macarena brotherhood, and colourful images of women at the Feria. In addition, there are clocks and mirrors, many with the heavy baroque gilt so popular in Spanish churches, as well as porcelain.
Mariano Bellver Uterera was born in Bilbao in 1926, but lived in Seville from the age of 12. He started his collection in 1960, for his personal purposes in his own home, rather than designed to be housed in a museum. The Jesus statues were particular favourites of his wife, Dolores Mejias. All the collection is in excellent condition, having been carefully conserved by its owner. Don Mariano died in November 2018, shortly after the museum opened.
The pieces in the collection are as follows:
299 paintings, 18 marble sculptures, 7 ivory sculptures, 31 painted wooden figures, 13 clocks, 44 pieces of furniture, 42 pieces of ceramic and porcelain, 50 bone and ivory figures, and 63 figures of clay and bronze.
Calle Fabiola 5, 955 47 14 23
Opening hours Tuesday to Sunday 11am-8pm
Entry price €3
Calle Fabiola 5,