The First Cold – Miquel Blay

This sculpture entitled “The First Cold” by Miquel Blay is found in the National Museum of Catalonian Art in Barcelona commonly known as MNAC. The work of Art, carved in white marble representing an old man and a little girl, is classified as a Modernist piece. What is striking is the emotion reflected in the character’s figures although little is known about the interpretation of the sculpture and the allegory it denotes. The same regarding the Spanish artist who carved this piece of Art in 1982.

Miquel Blay was trained at the School of Painting of Olot and later in Italy and France where he attended the workshop of the sculptor Henri Chapu in Paris.

For his work “The First Cold”, he received in 1982 the first medal of the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid. With his modernism depicting extreme naturalism, he influenced an entire generation of Catalan sculptors. This work was also awarded a gold medal in Barcelona in 1894.

In 1900, it won first prize at the “Exposition Universelle” in Paris, and Blay was also awarded the title of Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1901. He remained in Paris until 1906 until he moved to Madrid.

He collaborated with the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner on the sculpture entitled “The Folk Song” which adorns a corner of the Palace of Catalan Music in Barcelona, a complete modernist design.

In 1909, Blay was appointed professor at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, a position he held until 1925.


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