Artist Dr. Maria Gomez’s world premiere exhibition at MAOVA d’ Ontinyent (Valencia Region)

24/7 VALENCIA: Could you tell us more about this exhibition?

HOLY GRAIL OF VALENCIA ASSOCIATION: “On Friday, November 6th, at 7.30pm, the municipal authorities represented by the Councillor Coordinator of the Area of Culture, Mr Alejandro Borrell Bas and Mr Fernando Gandía Poveda, Councillor of Library, Publications, Museums and House of Culture, met at the Museum of Archaeology of Ontinyent and La Vall d’Albaida. On behalf of the Germandad del Temple d’Ontinyent were the outgoing president Mr. Josep Antoni Alfonso i Díaz and the incoming president Mr. Domingo Tormo Vidal.

All of them received the plastic artist specialized in the representation of the Holy Chalice of the Cathedral of Valencia, Dr. María Gómez Rodrigo, Dr. Ana Mafé García, president of the Cultural Association El Camino del Santo Grial and of the International Scientific Commission of Studies of the Holy Grail, and Ms. Esther Santillana Reinoso, head of the Losan Optical Center, the only Valencian company that to date supports the work of the association with funds and means.

The exhibition has an artistic part created for the celebration of the Jubilee Year in Ontinyent by Dr. María Gómez Rodrigo and a conceptual part born from the thesis of Dr. Ana Mafé García where she exposes part of the main contributions of her research to the state of the question of the Holy Grail, the Holy Chalice.

Dr. María Gómez Rodrigo is an Aragonese by birth, Valencian by adoption, and an artist who has forged her professional career from the Academy and accumulated knowledge. She has a degree in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Valencia.

She is currently developing her passion for painting through her position as a lecturer in the Department of History of Art at the University of Valencia. She is also a postgraduate teacher in the Master of Heritage in the Department of History of Art.

Her career as a restorer began in 1995 when she was appointed Technician in Conservation and Restoration of the Furniture Heritage of the Cathedral of Valencia. We can say that María Gómez as an artist and academic is a specialist in colour, fresco painting, creation of anamorphosis and restoration of medieval painting, wood sculpture and cartapesta.

Her formation is guaranteed by the innumerable publications and conferences that she has given at national and international level. Her work represents not only the heartbeat of the artist herself, but also reflects the know-how available to very few people.

She has created for Ontinyent a world first in Christian iconography. For hundreds of years the theme of the Holy Supper or the Last Supper has been interpreted from the patriarchal viewpoint that has characterized the History of Art.

However, the recurrent and hackneyed theme has given way, thanks to the talent of Dr. María Gómez, to a new formation of an iconographic motif that had not been interpreted since the third century of our era.

It is the figure of “a woman carrying a chalice”. Within the iconological studies sponsored by Dr. Panofsky in the last century, a clear distinction is made between “theme” and “motif”. The theme presented by Dr. María Rodrigo is not new; on the contrary, the motif does represent a novelty within the pictorial panorama in terms of composition and iconography.

In addition, it accompanies her magnificent canvas with a direct allusion to the meaning of the Way of the Holy Grail, Route of Knowledge, Way of Peace in an inner key. He has created a performance through sculpture and words that takes the spectator back to an intimate world.

María Gómez Rodrigo becomes unique and inimitable showing the different looks that the Holy Chalice of the Cathedral of Valencia offers through cubist and surrealist deconstructions. There the author once again demonstrates her mastery of brushes, technique and most importantly, her originality.

Dr. Mafé, on the other hand, relates a whole compendium of unpublished information in the form of images so that those who receive the exhibition can easily read the meaning of the most revealing conclusions about the history of the Holy Grail, the Holy Chalice of the Cathedral of Valencia. It is a small tribute to the researcher father of iconology, Dr. Warburg who wanted to make an atlas of knowledge only through images.

In the different showcases you can see two very different themes. One is directly related to the piece of the Holy Grail. The reproduction of the Holy Chalice made by Goldsmiths Piró from Valencia captures the attention immediately. All around it there is a real collection of small cups carved in agate, sardonyx cornelian, red jasper and even onyx, which is well worth seeing.

The other showcase presents innumerable elements related to the history of the Holy Grail. From a reproduction of the capital of St. Sixtus II and St. Lawrence in the Cathedral of Jaca, to a ceramic reproduction of the Hebrew “Elijah’s Cup” from Armenia in Jerusalem, a reproduction of a Hebrew shekel with a cup on the back, small numismatic collections where the figure of the Holy Chalice is reflected, a pilgrim’s credential of the First Jubilee Year sealed from San Juan de la Peña, publications of more than one hundred years ago and the most recent, the cross and some of the publications made by the Brotherhood of the Holy Chalice of the Cathedral of Valencia.

All in all, this is the first exhibition related to the Jubilee Year and which positions Ontinyent as a place of cultural pilgrimage. A unique exhibition that will not leave anyone indifferent. Do not miss it.”

Interview by 24/7 Valencia team

Photo:José Cuñat:

MAOVA (Museo Arqueològico de Ontinyent y la Vall de Albaida)
Edificio Antics Jutjats –
Tel:96 291 13 73
Tuesday to Saturday : 18h -21h
Free entry

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