Paintings of the Chapter Room of the Monastery of Sigena
It can already be seen in cinemas “El sueño de Sigena. La historia de la reconstrucción de un sueño“.
This production directed by Jesús Garcés explains the perseverance of Juan Naya, astrophysicist, born in Villanueva de Sigena, who wants to see the dream of his childhood fulfilled: the recreation of the Chapter Room of the Monastery of Sixena, considered by some as the “Chapel Sistine of the European Romanesque “.
This room was burned during the Spanish Civil War: the Mudejar wood coffered ceiling was burned and the remains of the murals were largely lost or badly damaged. In the same year of the fire, in 1936, a team of specialists tore off the paintings that had been saved, and after restoring them are now on display at the Museu Nacional de Catalunya.
Juan Naya explains in the documentary how the memories transmitted to him by his grandparents, made him to undertake an exciting personal project, to reconstruct the great puzzle of the chapter hall and recreate it in all its splendor. To achieve this, he traveled to various countries looking for references, he was helped by artisans who were able to reproduce the elements, he used new technologies to recreate the space and he delved into the documentary research needed to carry out the whole project.
An indispensable source of information were watercolor drawings made by the students of Lluís Domènech i Montaner from the Barcelona School of Architecture who, in an academic exercices, made the surveying of all the paintings. These drawings are currently preserved in the National Museum of Catalonia.
Juan Naya also consulted the documentary fund Domènech i Montaner dipositated at Arxiu Històric del Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya, where he found black and white photographs of the Chapter room taken before the fire. These complemented the laters photographs of the historian Josep Gudiol.
An excellent documentary that tells a story capable of thrilling the viewer from the very first minute.