Madrid is celebrating the 300-year anniversary of the birth of one of the architects that contributed to shape the Capital city ‘s architecture: Ventura Rodríguez, whose work will be displayed in the South Gallery of Conde Duque from May 17 to July 23. The exhibition, curated by Pedro Moleón, Javier Ortega Vidal and José Luis Sancho -two architects and a historian- highlights Ventura Rodríguez’s special talent for drawing, besides the interest of his architectural works.
This architect is responsible for some of the most emblematic spots in Madrid: he is the author of the famous Cybele, Neptune and Apollo fountains and designer of the Royal Palace’s chapel.
Ventura Rodriguez and Madrid (in the municipal collections)
May 17 – July 23
Conde Duque Cultural Centre. South Gallery Space
Conde Duque, 9 / 11 Madrid
The exhibition is divided into three thematic sections and its contents originate exclusively from the archives and collections held by Madrid City Council. The first section is devoted to works that Ventura Rodríguez undertook for the Crown, for institutions and for private individuals; the second to his work as the city’s Chief Architect and Plumber; and the final section to the Paseo del Prado promenade, its layout and its fountains, from Atocha to Cibeles.
VENTURA RODRÍGUEZ, ROYAL ARCHITECT
The architect Ventura Rodríguez Tizón (1717-1785) began his training as assistant draughtsman to the Sicilian architect Filippo Juvarra on the project for a new Royal Palace for Madrid. After Juvarra’s death he became the head draughtsman and second architect – the head architect was Giovanni Battista Sacchetti from Turin – when the final version of the building was in the design and execution phase, to be constructed on the lot where the Royal Alcazar of Madrid had stood. In 1760, under Charles III, Sacchetti and Rodríguez were relieved from their posts overseeing the palace works.
In 1743 Rodríguez began to develop his own projects, and from the time the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts was founded in Madrid in 1752 he served as one of its directors of architectural studies, the only one to be chosen as General Director two times by the institution and by Charles III. He was also an academic at the Academy of San Luca in Rome and at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia.
After Sacchetti’s death in 1764, Rodríguez was named Chief Master Architect (‘Maestro Mayor’) of the Building Works and Fountains of Madrid City Council. He thus oversaw all of the city’s planning and construction initiatives. Moreover, from 1766 onwards, he worked for the Council of Castile as an architect and supervisor of publicly funded works to be constructed in Spain, which explains how his body of work is so profuse and geographically dispersed without this negatively affecting the end results.