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The School of Atzara and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art ‘Antonio Ortiz Echagüe’

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  • Internal view of the Ortiz Museum, exhibition at the first floor © Lino Cianciotto
  • Internal view of the Ortiz Museum, exhibition at the ground floor © Lino Cianciotto
  • External view of the Museum © Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art
  • External view of the Museum © Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Atzara was a cradle to a number of artists. A part of the pictorial art of 1900 originated in this village, whose patronage history has lasted for over fifty years. Artists cast light on customs and tradition of local communities, representing people in a number of expressions.
It all started at the beginning of last century, following an occasional meeting of Iberian artists, students at the Spanish Academy of Fine Arts of Rome, and a group of youngsters from Atzara, who were in Rome for the Jubilee. Among these latter, a group in costume from Atzara outstood for its extraordinary ceremony costumes, either men’s and women’s.
The curiosity to get to know a reality that was still keeping its costumes, linked to ancient lifestyles, elicited the Spanish artists’ need for an exploration journey. In fact, between 1800 and 1900, folklore was perhaps the most widespread and popular theme among Spanish artistic circles: indeed, right in those years, a movement called ‘Costumbrismo’ was developing.
The first to come to Sardinia was Eduardo Chicharro, from Madrid. The painter was authorized by the Spanish government to come to Sardinia, under the commitment to paint a large canvas in situ, as a gift for the government. He chose to paint the ‘Return from the festival of San Mauro’. But soon he fell ill and had to go back to Spain. A few years after, in 1907, another famous Academy student went to Atzara, Antonio Ortiz Echagüe. One of the most famous Spanish painters of his generation, founder of ‘Costumbrism’, he painted ‘Brotherhood’s Festival’, a work that ensured him fame and international success. He died in the ‘40s.
Chicharro and Ortiz paved the way to the establishment of a sort of ‘spontaneous academy’. Among local hills, a circle was formed, attended by Sardinian major painters: Antonio Ballero, Giuseppe Biasi, Filippo Figari, Carmelo Floris, Mario Delitalia and Stanis Dessy.
Last Spanish painters to stay in Sardinia were Bernardino Dequiros, who painted a canvas for the cemetery of Nuoro, and Antonio de Castillo, who sojourned for a few months.
In addition, Atzara had known the famous Galep, author (drawer) of Tex; Filippo Figari, who created some of his most appreciated canvases, now partly exhibited at the government palace in Cagliari; finally, Giuseppe Biasi.
But Atzara can also boast to be the birthplace of a great painter of Sardinian 1900, Antonio Corriga, whose works are renowned everywhere.

Antonio Corriga conceived the project to found the municipal picture gallery ‘Antonio Ortiz Echagüe’, whose origin is ideally connected to the early 1900 and the arrival of Spanish ‘ Costumbrist’ painters in Atzara. Antonio Ballero, Giuseppe Biasi, Filippo Figari, Mario Delitala, Carmelo Floris, Stanis Dessy are but the most famous artists who stayed at the village; their works are included in the rich collection displayed at the museum, besides works by Antonio Ortiz Echagüe, Antonio Corriga, Vittorio Tolu, Bernardino Palazzi, Pietro Antonio Manca, Mauro Manca, Gino Frogheri, Antonio Atza, Gavino Tilocca and many others.
The collection consists of 54 works, from last century to 2005. Either stylistically and thematically, they offer an exhaustive picture of 20 th-century’s artistic trends.
The selected exhibition criteria valorise each single work in its specificity.

Useful information

Address: 1, Piazza Antonio Ortiz Echagüe - ph. + 39 0784 65508
Opening hours: 10.00 a.m.- 1.00 p.m. and 5.00-8.00 p.m. (summer); 10.00 a.m.- 1.00 p.m and 4.00-7.00 p.m. – Monday closed
Guided tours upon booking
Educational tours for children and school groups
It is possible to visit the cellars, the nuraghe of ‘Abbagadda’ and the sacred well.
Fares: € 1,55 (full ticket), € 1,00 (reduced-rate ticket), € 1,00 (groups of 15 people as a minimum / school groups – Free ticket for children under 10 and adults over 65
Bookshop open

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