Sculpture legacy

The second part of the legacy donated to the Huesca City Council by José Beulas and Maria Sarrate consists of a collection of 62 sculptural works. Most of the collection is made up of small-scale pieces, given that Beulas and Sarrate were at no time collecting with the intention of exhibiting in a museum setting. Only some of the sculptures are on a larger scale, suitable for outdoor spaces.


This group of larger w orks is displayed in the garden of the couple’s property, located on the Ayerbe motorw ay, which has been ceded to the Beulas Foundation by the painter (currently a private site). The majority of the sculptural works are in bronze with various textures; some gold-plated, as in the case of those by Dalí, or meticulously polished, as in the case of the pieces by Serrano. We also find some terracotta pieces, including one by Martí Sabe, work in iron by Javier Sauras, and woodcarving by Amador Rodríguez. As for subject matter, there is a certain degree of uniformity in the collection, which is dominated by figurative work in the most academic sense of the term (with certain exceptions), with a strong emphasis on the female figure.


The sculpture collection consists of a total of 64 pieces by 33 different sculptors. Twenty-four artists contribute just one piece each to the legacy, while works by the other nine account for tw o thirds of the collection. The artists most represented are Venancio Blanco, José Carrilero Gil, Joaquín García-Donaire and César Montaña. The last two artists, together with Beulas, received grants to study in Rome and were among the last groups to graduate from the programme offered there.


The first piece in the collection w as purchased from a former grant holder during the period of the couple’s stay in Rome, from 1955 to 1960. The couple were able to spend this period in the Italian capital thanks to a grant aw arded to the Catalan painter by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Every five years the ministry awarded grants to study at the SpanishAcademy in Rome to nine artists working in different specialities.

It was there that many of the contributors to the collection met. As Beulas says, ‘it seems odd that we had the idea of spending our first wages in liras on a sculpture.

But fortunately that’s what we did, and that’s where our enthusiasm for collecting started. … The rest of the collection has been built up over the last 30 years.’The New Figuration movement emerged almost exclusively in Madrid. Venancio Blanco, Jesús Valverde, Joaquín García- Donaire, José Carrilero and César Montaña represent this movement. In 1964 they were presented as a group on the Spanish scene with an exhibition at the Directorate General for Fine Arts.

As a result, though not initially conceived as a collection, the works that comprise the sculpture legacy are representative of a particular direction taken by official Spanish culture at a specific point in time.