Sculptures of Jesus Trapote in Val de San Lorenzo
Jesus Trapote in Val de San Lorenzo: a day in the maragatería
The house couch stretches its warm and comfortable hug to us. And it is necessary to be attentive to these signs because this is the moment indicated to raise the bottom of the couch and to put course towards a point that removes us from the routine. In this occasion an exhibition of sculpture of a friend is a good motive for settling almost 360 km of distance. A distance so many long one for a trip of going and return in the day, but today the highways and the motorcars offer certain guarantees to realize a sure and comfortable trip.
Jesus Trapote exhibits its works in Val de San Lorenzo. We already did echo of this circumstance to ourselves on the same pages
Val de San Lorenzo is a small town placed to 6 km of Astorga that spreads over the fertile plain of the river Turienzo. There constitutes one of the most important peoples of the Maragatería, owed fundamentally to that it was a textile nucleus of a big importance, perhaps only comparably with the production of the Catalan centers. Certainly, the name maragato has a confused origin. The most recognized theory, nowadays, is the one that there has formulated the professor of the University of León, Laureano Rubio, in which he comes to say that in this area the ancient inhabitants also well-known how somonzanos they were devoting themselves to commercialize salty fish of Gallicia (Sea) to Madrid (the Cats) and hence Maragato. Today, the times change, there are the Cats (the persons from Madrid) those who devote themselves to colonize the area the weekends in search of its famous stew maragato. But let's leave the stew for then.
In Val de San Lorenzo there finds the Center of Textile Interpretation Community (C.I.T). It is a building that was constructed by the Communal Society of Craftsmen to realize all the works that were associated with the process of preparation of the wool to realize manufactures, be already cloths or blankets. All this complex was working until 1998. Now it has recovered on initiative of the proper Town hall of Val de San Lorenzo and works in certain visits and for different craftsmen who still make use of this old machinery that constitutes an excellent example of the industrial framework of the beginning of the XIXth century. And the museum can be visited in its habitual schedule.
This building lodges the Second Phase of the Textile Museum (the main nucleus constitutes it the Fulling mill or Rammer, which then we will see). The small sculptures that there shapes the exhibition of Jesus Trapote who takes for title Big messages, small formats are distributed by the room.
Big messages, small formats
Interspersed by the museum The Community small trapote sculptures are, sculptor vallisoletano settled down in León, as being part of furniture. Its limited size turns them into small desirable objects for the decoration of any rinconcito of our houses. They are graceful, slender and affectionate, you do not exempt from force and one big plastic beauty. And some of them, for its nudes, it is possible to consider them to be as intimists. Its modeling is agreeable. With few lines it synthesizes its work (the synthesis matérica we can find it in the Partridge, scarcely an oval). All of them shape a stylistic unit. In addition to its limited size, the figures he answers to a guy that the sculptor has formed along its extensive, brilliant and extensive career: Volumetric of smug body and limited head. Many of them answer to a sketch for a project or contest. I have had the opportunity to see very recently work of Oteiza and something, in the trapote sculptures, he has reminded me to this big sculptor, as he remembers me to some of the works of Rodin. Also the thick forms allude to another genius who is the Colombian Boatman. The true thing is that we find Jesus Trapote to a big sculptor who dominates the human forms with beautiful examples in this room (Anorexic, Intimacies or Arrogance, or The Reading) putting special emphasis on the expressions and posturales. It is not necessary to forget that trapote is a big sculptor in civil work with beautiful examples in Valladolid, León or Villalón of Fields (an example of what can be a monumental work is any of these small sculptures, but especially to emphasize an example of sculptural set The victimized ones)
A small snag: the sculptures are not out of tune of the ambience, but they do not stand out. Framing them in such a peculiar room where the ancient machines have a major specific gravity that the proper sculpture penalizes the visit of the work of trapote. But on the other hand, we have the opportunity to contemplate in the room two handmade activities that are born with products of our ground, on the one hand the wool and for other the mud with which trapote has sculpted, learnedly, its sculptures of small format, of big messages and of big intentions.
The visit to this museum starts with the audio-visual some that are projected in the room and of which there does an introduction to us the guide of the Museum Miguel Ángel (certainly a person of charming, dealing lively and expert in the whole process of the wool, which craves to give to know it).
Since the wool is chosen for its use until it goes out already manufactured in the shape of blanket or cloth there is a series of machines and tools spread along the different spaces that shape this big room / museum. There we find a so called machine “the devil bottle opener”, spools, winches of combing, distaffs, urdidores and others curiously tools. All this would include the production process and that complement each other with a few machines more complex and difficult to see in functioning as there it are those that here we can contemplate.
Val de San Lorenzo was a big textile nucleus. There have news about the wool that was woven in this people and its environment somewhere near the XVIIth century and it went so far as to be provided with more than 80 manufacturers. In the first third of the XIXth century Val suffers a textile crisis draper. Not only fond of this area but of other points of old Reino de León and of Castile. Perhaps it was Béjar (Salamanca) better who could adapt himself and he could compete with the best Catalan competition (Sabadell and Tarrasa) that had mechanized all its process. This way in 1858 there takes place in Val a textile relaunch that comes, principally, from the hand of the enterprising people like José Cordero Geijo (it moved to Palencia to work and to "study" the process in the cloths factory) and Damián Cuadrado (it brought to Val new tools as the valued one “clusters of palms of thistles”). In the International Exhibition of Paris the bedspreads of Val de San Lorenzo were rewarded.
In 1920 a group of 73 neighbors forms a Community of Goods. It is Community. Due to this Catalan mechanization (alluded previously) and the waste of a machinery that Val de San Lorenzo had remained obsolete was done by these second-hand bought machines, proceeding from Catalonia.
Today we have the immense fortune of knowing first hand how there was the textile production process of the ends of the XVIIIth century and the beginning of the XIXth century thanks to the fact that Val continued with its work until the end of the XXth century and thank you also to the work of the Town hall and its nations who have been able to restore and put at the disposal of the public in general this space.
It attracts attention the different photos that are in the walls of the room. This owes to a meeting that was realized for six weeks in the summer 1926 of artists' different groups (painters, watercolorists, ceramists, etc) originated from the School of Ceramics of the Moncloa of Madrid and that they were realized by Aniceto García Villar, teacher of the school. There constitute an ethnographic element of the first order for the study of the maragatería.
The Fulling mill or Rammer
The Fulling mill or Rammer (as the proper maragatos know it) complements the visit and it was the first phase of the Textile Museum. A series of channels turns away the water (now in nonexistent summer) that moves a few wheels of mill that makes move a few rammers that the blanket strikes. Here there was realized the main function to wash the blanket to take from him oil that had been added to the wool to facilitate the threads making both for the plot and for the warp. Once hung on the hangers one was proceeding to its carded one (there are used a teasel or teasel that is a variety that is cultivated in Albacete and Alicante between other centers of production, since it is a more elongated thistle and with the tops down) to extract the hair of natural form. This was done by natural thistles inserted in a machine designed to that end.
Astorga has a lot to do. We can emphasize three interest places. One of them is the square of the Town hall that lodges the consistorial building. Its construction began en1683. It consists of two apartments, with two towers in the corners finished off with capitals and a central bulrush. The top apartment has a few iron balconies. The central bulrush supports the bell and the clock in which two maragatos mark the hours. It is an example of civil architecture of the from Leon baroque.
Another essential visit is to the Episcopal Palace. Work of Gaudí, its construction was carried out between 1889 and 1915. Its front presents four cylindrical towers and continues its beginning of the Catalan modernism that we find in grounds maragatas, fundamentally, for the friendship that was joining the bishop with Gaudí, a man much
fervent. The porch shows three trumpet-shaped arches. The structure of the edifico is sustained in props with decorated capitals and vaults of crucería. The whole set is finished off by a castellated one who resembles the Mudejar style.
And finally, the Astorga cathedral. The Astorga cathedral begun being constructed in 1471 inside the enclosure of the previous basilica that was dating of the XIth and XIIIth centuries. The works of the cathedral extended for many years, coming until the XVIIIth century what awards him an amalgam of architectural styles: flowery Gothic in
One of the jewels that lodges the Astorga cathedral is its biggest reredos it acts of Gaspar Becerra. It is of colossal dimensions and it was conceived by the proper sculptor in 1558. Structurally it is composed in horizontal by a bank or predela, three bodies of big height and an attic; in vertical sense it is organized by five streets and six entrecalles in the second and third bodies. All this following a symmetrical, regular and tidy scheme. A jewel of the one that was considered to be the introductor in Spain of the style of Miguel Ángel.
We cannot finish this day and this work without mentioning to other of the "motives" interest when one comes to Astorga, Val de San Lorenzo and its region and it is not different that a gastronomic motive; the stew maragato.
The stew maragato
The stew is one of the plates typically Spanish. It is the one that could eat up formerly every day and in all the places from Stake of Bars up to Cadiz. The stew is a stew where both all the ingredients are cooked: chick-peas, vegetables, potatoes, meats and the bones. There are so much varieties as regions it has Spain.
One of these varieties is the stew maragato, typically of this area maragata in the province of León. This plate, like many traditional others of “stew“, it is a stew. Namely that the meats throw in a pan everything together so that it is cooked and enriches a broth. In turn also the chick-peas begin with a snood for its easy extraction or to be able to serve it in separate plate.
The way of officiating in this region is what this particular character awards him: it makes use the other way round. The stew consists of three plates or vuelcos. The first one of them is a plate with all the meats. They are there are usually seven (there are restaurants that they announce up to twelve): foot and ear of glutton, funk, bacon, morcillo, sausage, rib, etc. Together with a filling (breadcrumb, with egg fried). Next the chick-peas accompanied by vegetable, generally it is usually a cabbage or cabbage, and cooked potato. And, finally, one finishes with the soup: the broth resultant from this cooking with a few noodles or slices of bread.
In our particular day maragata we gained access to some of the restaurants that exist in Val de San Lorenzo. We were not going blindly since they had announced to us that Glory and its brother (regents of the restaurant Inn Maragato) had good kitchen and were not passing in the price (thing the last one that is usually very habitual in any famous restaurants). For the reigning heat, beginning of September perhaps do not be the best moment to taste a stew maragato. But if that offered it to us, perhaps because there was happening the circumstance of which we are in the local holidays of the Carballeda and possibly there come many "foreigners" who return to its village in its annual appointment to see its countrymen and relatives. And since it was not very hot we taste the stew without no but, not much less disappointment. We can say that also he has other plates in a short but select letter where a moderate salad shines with proper light, a trunk of nice (to the chopped garlic) and a few home-made desserts (the soft and delightful fried milk). Very advisable.
Finally a good and finished day with ethnographic, artistic and gastronomic interest. An advice: do not leave that the house couch embraces them more than the just thing.
Filed file: General
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