The sculpture of the late nineteenth century will feature the definitive abandonment of romantic idealism in favor of realism.
This time was very productive sculpturally in Spain thanks to the good status of the wealthy bourgeoisie, to municipalities and other public entities.
The sculptures were placed in squares, parks, streets, facades and cemeteries. It was a time of great splendor for urban sculpture favored by bourgeois cultural momentum as if it were a fashion.
Realism invaded sculptural works with a mimicry of nature in great detail. The materials used in this period were mainly bronze and marble even to combine with chromatic targets.
At this time there were many sculptors but few were those who excelled. In Spain we highlight Jeronimo Sunol and Pujol (1839-1902), and Ramon Ricardo Bellver (1845-1924) and Agustín Querol and Subirats (1860-1909).
In Vigo we can see part of the work of Agustín Querol and Subirats, one of the few cities that has two sculptures of the author to his credit. Stressing that one of them is made five separate bronze figures.
Agustín Querol and Subirats
Agustín Querol and Subirats born in Tortosa (Tarragona) in 1860 and died in Madrid in 1909.He says he made a baker with his parents until 18 years old and in the oven baked bread figures modeled in clay. In the beginning was formed as a student of Ramon Cerveto and workshop of Vallmitjana. Learned in the classroom anatomy dissection of the Faculty of Medicine.
He had many failures and bad luck at first, until in 1883 he moved to Madrid to participate in the competition pension number featuring the Academy of Fine Arts to study in Rome. Eduardo Barron got the square and Agustin Querol, who moved to Rome in 1884.
Three years later, in 1887, presented in Madrid the sculpture 'The Betrayal' (Gardens of the Normal School) won the First Class Medal in the National Fine Arts.
In 1882 he was awarded the decoration of the pediment of the National Library of Madrid, thanks to the protection he dispensed Antonio Canovas del Castillo, and who later designed his tomb at Madrid's San Isidro mental Sacra.
Querol, endowed with an extraordinary facility for modeling and high flexibility to adapt to all kinds of accomplishments, diversity of assignments accepted memorials. The de Quevedo, in Madrid, is one of many examples lavished not only in Spain but also in many Latin American cities, such as Havana, Buenos Aires, Lima, Guayaquil, etc.It had, in his workshop in Madrid, a large group of artists, whose professionalism is different to justify different quality manifesting Querol works.
In 1888 he returned to Madrid where he was granted a pension of merit to return to Rome
Monument Méndez Núñez (1890)
Presented a poster on his forehead shaped bronze scroll. On top of the pedestal stands the figure of the Admiral with his military attire holding in his left hand and a sword binoculars. The pedestal is of granite and designed by Jenaro Source Domínguez. The sculpture was cast in Italy.
In the back there is a marble plaque with the following inscription: "In the Navy Admiral Méndez Núñez in Don Castro illustrious prize win this monument was erected by public subscription to Fitness initiative. August 21, 1890 "
Monument to Jose Elduayen (1896)
Possibly the highest quality memorial of all who were at that time in Galicia. The realism of the figure is amazing. In the words of one honoree, Joseph Elduayen ". Admire the work that exceeded the limit of how much I promised.".
The pedestal was executed by the Source Jenaro Domínguez.The monument consists of 5 figures. Elduayen sculpture atop the pedestal with the plans of the harbor and the city in his hand. And at the base with four pedestals minor figures. Each of these four classic sculptures are an allegory of the four ministries who started Jose Elduayen: Hacienda (woman with a chest and an open book), Interior (woman with reins in hand), Overseas (woman a rudder) and the State (woman with a briefcase and a snake levitating over his shoulder, a symbol of subtlety).