What to see in Alicante
The Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, popularly known by its acronym MUGAB, is an important museum located in the Palace of the Count of Lumiares, a splendid four-story mansion built between 1748 and 1808. This cultural centre is dedicated to the exhibition and dissemination of art from Alicante between the 16th and 19th centuries and especially the figure of Emilio Varela Isabel.
The origins of the MUGAB stem from 1863, when the Alicante Provincial Council made the decision to support and promote artistic creation in Alicante around the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts, based in Madrid. In this way, a powerful academic nucleus was born, from which the enormous collection currently housed by the MUGAB was born.
Among the museum's exhibitions, one can find works by artists such as Francisco Bushell, Pedro Serrano Bossio and Fernando Cabrera in addition to great masters such as Joaquín Sorolla, considered the great artistic reference from Alicante in the 19th century and who helped set the tone for what would become 20th-century Spanish art.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest additions occurred in 2011, when an exhibition room was created to highlight and disseminate the great work of Emilio Varela and the different facets of this brilliant artist, who greatly enriched the MUGAB collection. Among the most important works by Varela in the MUGAB collection is the “Retrato de Isolda Esplá e Hijo”, along with a rich collection of old photographs and manuscripts about the friendship that existed between them.