Museo de Artes Decorativas Firma y Odilo Estévez. Rosario of Santa Fe, Argentina.
It depicts a mother with her child in arms, both wear Galician popular clothing. The two figures look to the front, almost without interconnection, reminding the romanesque virgins.
Both figures rest and stand up of the land, represented like a crude tree trunk, which climbs almost to the knee of the female figure in contrast to the folds of the skirt. The faces are realistic and expressive, being the child loving tremendously.
Stand out the typical polychrome of Asorey that magnifies the wood without covering and completely novel use of metallic elements in the scallop with the image of Santiago on horseback that the child has between his hands.
The iconography of this work is universal; from the Paleolithic the woman is the representation of life, land and fertility; with the time this
idea is preserved, in the christianity is like Mother of God, but Mother first. In the romanesque virgins we find greater parallelism in the sense of mother and child seated, hieratic, no connection (the Virgin is merely the throne of Jesus), frontals and the looks in front. The "naiciña" becomes in mother, land, Galicia, who gives and takes care of its fruits, one of the best allegories in the sculptural field.
This work is presented in the Exposición Nacional of 1922, where only gave to him a scholarship, that serves to the artist to tour Spain and to expand artistic knowledge. Also the author obtains a third medal, which doesn't accept. Facing that situation there is a great cry in Galicia to be considered an injustice. And it forms a commission chaired by Cabanillas to honor to Asorey in Cambados, in August 22 of 1922. Intellectuals and friends were presents.
Since everything seemed that the artist would take the first prize, and it wasn't like that, caused a scandal among the artistic and intellectual class of the time, and to repair the injustice celebrated a banquet in honor of Asorey and it became an affirmation of Galician nationalism. The director's chronic of El Correo de Galicia in Buenos Aires, in overseas, relates that attended Galician celebrities, such as Manolo Quiroga, Basilio Álvarez, Portela Valladares, Castelao, Cabanillas, San Luis (the labourer and author of the work "O Fidalgo "), González Garra, Eladio Rodríguez, Lugrís Freire, Risco, Blanco Torres, Rivas, Peinador, Fraga entrepreneur more important and Galician staunch, Manolo Quiroga, agers of the council of Santiago and other groups and distinguished Galician individuals forming a total of two hundred guests ...
"Paco Asorey -continues the extensive chronicle of the aforementioned newspaper- occupies the place of honor and to his side who sit down Portela Valladares and Gil Casares. Then Cabanillas reads hundreds of accessions received from Galicia ... And Cabanillas explains the purpose of this unforgettable meeting. Cabanillas is no speaker, but we observe that his simple word moves everyone and I'm also deeply moved. Speak the Galician language never seemed so sweet and so eloquent as at this moment:
"After our Maestro Mateo who sculpted the called Pórtico de la Gloria, a wonder of the centuries, you have come to revive the glorious legend of the Galician sculptors. Your brothers around you now for to infuse breath and for to fill you with love, annoyed for the injustice of the Madrid politicians to you".
"Despois de noso Maestro Mateo que tallou esa maravilla dos séculos que se chama o pórtico de Gloria, vineche ti a resucitar a lenda froriosa dos imaxineiros galegos. Teus hirmaos rodeanche agora para infundirche alentos e para encherte de cariño doecidos pola inxusticia de que fixeron victima os políticos madrileños".
The poet speaks tenderly of his native town and gets that the eyes of Asorey shed tears, remembering the years of the childhood of both in the lovely beach of Cambados where his mothers were coming scared for the raids of the both. The poet's voice becomes severe and trembling when his
speech reaches the deepest and most solemn note. It's necessary that the Galicians feel the need to defend the homeland, coming to where be necessary to come. We must save Galicia.
Finished applauses speaks Alfonso Castelao. It's also expressed in our native language. The work of thinkers is a work of analysis:
the work of the village is of synthesis. To the Galician people we have to tell that Galicia not want to die. Castelao's speech is downright nationalist.
Basilio Álvarez's voice roars and said in Madrid respect to the Galicians. That's not enough: "It's necessary that they are afraid of us". Vicente Risco speaks "Brothers by race and love our Galicia" and affirms that we are children of an unmistakable and well-defined nation and we aren't nor can we be anything but Galicians. And Lugrís Freire speaks in out loud, in Galician, giving his voice tones of prophecy: "Are said that we are separatists. I shout many times. Live free Galicia! I don't will frighten and to tell that yes, I'm separatist". Then he enumerates the errors of Spanish state and its incompetence for to unite and fuse the various races that compose it. Ensures that the triumph of Galicia is very near. Asorey gets up tremulous and move. Then something extraordinary happens that moves me while an intense chill ran through my body. Asorey stand up the fists to the sky and shouts: " Terra a nosa" and see that those two hundred men of profound intelligence and exquisite temperaments, men of large and recognized talent, imitating the gesture of Asorey and they stand up fists and the look to the sky, as worshiping an invisible, shout at the same time the sacrosanct word "Terra ".
What is this I just witnessed? What does it mean? What is its scope and significance? ... this, dear readers of Buenos Aires, is nothing less than the alive soul and pounding of a new Galicia which born strong and vigorous; of a Galicia unknown here or recognise very imperfectly, because working in modesty and silence. Are agrarian leagues, los "Hirmanos de fala" Galician nationalists, regionalists advanced, in short, in Galicia, the Galicia but not of resignation and meekness. It's a town that, as Castelao said, does not want to die in the throes of a state that seems to be going towards suicide. It's the survival instinct of a race that seemed faint and now feel the irresistible urge to rise above much abuse and not to perish in the whirlwind that has been triggered by all areas of the Spanish nation. And whole Galicia has never been so Galician as now. Fortunately for me that I can witness this amazing evolution of feeling that becomes to every child of this land into an ardent advocate for each and every one of his big prerogatives. "
The work was purchased shortly after of his exposure by Odilo Estévez, character worthy of mention. Born in the town of Ourense of Freás Eirás (later merged with Villameá of Ramirás). Called by a brother emigrated to Argentina and decides to start a new life in the new continent.
Settles between Columbus and Entre Ríos where he develops different jobs, including of "yerbetero". Because of this get money to emigrate to Rosario where he focuses on industry matte Paraguay creating the signature "Estévez y Cía.", with which it becomes the largest producer of yerba
mate whereas explodes other products and he gains in recognition and status.
This status increases when, on February 2, 1874, he married with Firma Mayor, daughter of one of the most prominent citizens of the town. In fact the mid-twentieth century are the owners of one of the more important fortunes of the city, acquiring a house built to the Italian style, and other mansions. To decorate he doesn't hesitate in to invest in art. It's a time when the wealthy class demands open many auction houses that thrive with
ease thanks to political problems. So at this time acquire Victoria Ocampo collection.
Estévez was a great commercial and industrial manager, allowing you to invest some of his fortune on buying art. In fact all his trips to Europe acquires wildly variegated collections that remind "European palaces".
It's in one of these trips when he acquires "Naiciña". His existence of a culture of collecting takes you to the desire to reproduce the land of his childhood, it explains more than its acquisition.
Other times he doesn't hesitate in the judgment of others in who delegating your purchase.
At the end of 1924 finished after very costly reforms "Villa Firma" which will change its name for property of the count Estévez (he was known so, but never had the title of Count) or Firma Mayor de Estévez. Four years earlier had opened the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Museo Municipal de Arte Decorativo.
A few years later bought a large house in Cordoba (Argentina), which was offered to King Alfonso XIII to lose the Spanish throne; but the king rejects choosing as their destination Rome. The house is full of works of art and diverse collections, results from numerous purchases and eclectic tastes of its inhabitants. Odilo Estévez set up residence until 1944, when with 74 years dies of lung cancer. His wife survives without issue thus is devoted body and soul to working with the organization of the "Museo Histórico Provincial", being the vice president and making large donations. At his death his property is closed, then routed to tourism, then close again until it passed at the hands of the argentine government.