0099 Monuments Devoted to Artists in Public Spaces around Museums

A Nineteenth-Century Strategy to Enhance the Urban Space of Art Districts

  • Jesús Pedro Lorente (Author)
    Universidad de Zaragoza, Art History Department

    J. Pedro LORENTE is a Professor of Art History at the University of Saragossa (Spain), where he graduated in 1986 after which he pursued his training with research grants at the Spanish Academy of Rome (1988), the Università Internazionale dell’Arte, Florence (1989/90), the École du Louvre, Paris (1990/91) and the University of Leicester University, UK (1991/96), where he submitted his PhD at the Department of Museum Studies (supervisor: Prof. Eilean Hooper-Greenhill) and was research fellow at the Centre for Urban History Studies (supervisor: Prof. Peter Clark) thanks to a postdoctoral EU Grant. Since 1996 he works at the University of Saragossa, where he is academic coordinator of the MA in Museum Education, and teaches topics related to Museology, 19th-century art, Spanish Contemporary Art, etc.  He is the coordinator of the research team “Observatorio Aragonés de Arte en la Esfera Pública”, http://www.unizar.es/oaaep and leader of the research project "Museums and art districts: Public art, artists, institutions" financed by the Spanish Secretary of State for Research (code HAR2012-38899-C02-01) from January 2013 to December 2015. He is also an art critic, member of AICA (International Associations of Art Critics), member of the board of AECA (Spanish Association of Art Critics) and secretary of AACA (Aragonese Association of Art Critics), being director of its quaterly journal: http//www.aacadigital.com 

    Among his most recent Publications figure the handbook Historia de la Museología, Gijón, Trea, 2012 (an outline in English version was previously published as an article: The development of museum studies in universities: from technical training to critical museology”, Museum Management and Curatorship, vol. 27, nº 3, August 2012, p. 237-252), and the book Los museos de arte contemporáneo: noción y desarrollo histórico, Gijón, Trea, 2008 (translated into French: Les musées d’art moderne et contemporain : une exploration conceptuelle et historique, París, l’Harmattan, 2009; also available in English: The Museums of Contemporary Art. Notion and Development, Farnham & Burlington, Ashgate Press, 2011). 

Identifiers (Article)


Monuments to kings or military heroes have always been positioned in main squares and avenues, whilst those erected to famous cultural figures were a novelty introduced in the Enlightenment and Romanticism, placing busts or sitting monuments to writers or musicians in secluded gardens and in the surroundings of libraries, theatres, etc. During the nineteenth century, monuments to artists became also a common feature in many cities, where a most likely emplacement for them was in front of some art museum. In a way, they were a complement to the ornaments of such building, usually decorated with portraits and inscriptions glorifying great artists; but the monument to Murillo erected in 1863 by public subscription in Seville's Plaza del Museo was also an urban milestone, catching the attention of promenading public passing along a lateral street. Later, the monuments erected in the piazzas around the Prado Museum in Madrid, or in gardens outside the Louvre, became a popular prototype, emulated in many other cities up to the early 20th century. Their role as interfaces between public spaces and museum sites would thereafter be taken over by other kinds of artistic landmarks: not monuments to artists, but monumental artworks, often owned by the museum itself, thus bringing part of its collection outside, as a welcome starter to prospective cultural consumers.


Monuments, Artists, Museums, Art districts