Welcome Mr. Berlanga!

Walter Benjamin said that the figure of the born collector, along with that of the curious child and the urban flâneur share the same inquiring spirit. The German author was referring to those souls who know how to see the halo that surrounds certain works (paintings, furniture, antique books, rare objects…).

The film director Luis García Berlanga embodied the prototype of the genuine collector, the one who only obeys his desires and his lust for beauty.

With the provocative and irreverent tone that characterized him, he declared himself an incorrigible fetishist. But it is worth going beyond the fetishism linked to eroticism to understand the type of “fetishes” that Berlanga pursued. The fetishist and the collector belong to the same lineage, especially if we understand fetishism in the ancient sense: the art of rediscovering in the beautiful object an almost magical value, a hidden aura.

An author with such a daring and diverse filmography (in which humor, social criticism and political satire predominate) reflects in his collecting that same polyhedral and porous character towards his environment. Berlanga was a collector of art and antiques in all their forms and expressions.

This November, SETDART presents the Luis García Berlanga Collection, which reveals its interest in Valencian painting, with great names of this school such as Emilio Sala. Another notable female portrait included in the collection belongs to the Madrid master Luis de Madrazo. Resolved with delicious satins, it shows a girl caressing a small angora cat.

Among the most contemporary pieces in the collection are the torso of “Torero” by Miguel Ortiz Berrocal and graphic works by Equipo Crónica (“Felipe IV”).

Berlanga also loved period furniture. Among the pieces in this collection, the director’s personal desk, which follows Georgian models by designer William Kent, occupies a prominent place. It also has a set of two sofas from the prestigious London firm Theodore Alexander.

Drawings, paintings, engravings and high-end furniture, as well as a set of personal photographs of the filmmaker, make up this collection that will be auctioned at Setdart on November 24. An auction that gives us a special opportunity to get closer to a little-known facet of a personality whose name gave rise to a new entry in the dictionary. The “Berlanguian” was born and died with Berlanga, but his legacy is immortal.

External references to Roman urns

Prado Museum

Wikipedia