Asia by Francesc Bover

  • Description

  • Work's History

Francesc Bover’s Asia is an elegantly dressed woman with curly hair. In her right hand she holds an amphora brimming with products and a pearl necklace, and in her left hand a small bouquet of flowers and fruits of aromatic spices.

Her dress and the jewels display the wealth of Asia and the fruits refer to the continent’s benign climate, which produces everything its inhabitants need to live.

«Lady [...] dressed in robes embroidered with gold and pearls and valuable jewels. Holding a small bunch of green leaves and some fruits from pepper and clove plants.» Cesare Ripa, Iconologia

In the four corners of the courtyard of the Llotja there are niches with statues representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Pere Pau Muntanya’s iconographic project for the Llotja could not be without the allegories of the continents. This was a recurrent theme in Spanish art of the second half of the 18th century, which must be interpreted as a manifestation of the political power the Spanish monarchs wielded over parts of these territories. The symbolism and attributes with which Francesc Bover and Manuel Oliver represented the four continents denote an ethnocentric vision of the world, a vision that proclaims Europe’s superiority in all respects over Africa and America, but with more nuances in relation with Asia. The figure representing Asia is the work of Francesc Bover.


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