Agustí Querol Subirats

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Agustí Querol i Subirats (or Agustín Querol y Subirats) (May 17, 1860 – December 14, 1909) was a prominent Spanish sculptor, born in Tortosa, Catalonia.


Born to a poor family, the son of a baker, Querol was educated under Ramon Cerveto Bestraten (1829–1906). At the age of 18, he left his job at his father’s bakery and moved to Barcelona, where he worked as an apprentice at the studios of Domingo Talarn and of the Vallmitjana Brothers. He also attended sculpture classes at the Escola Provincial de Belles Arts (called colloquially “la Llotja”). He studied dissection and anatomy at the Hospital de la Santa Creu in Barcelona, then won a scholarship to study in Rome.

Based in Madrid from 1890, he was responsible for many monuments, sculptures, and project proposals through much of the Spanish-speaking world.[1] Querol's work is characterized by the same romantic style, fluid modeling, wealth of detail and technical skill as his French fin de siècle contemporaries like Jules Dalou, but Querol's work is even more dynamic and profuse. The pediment for the Biblioteca Nacional de España, for instance, is crowded with 19 separate figures. All of his major designs are equally busy.

Querol ran a relatively large studio. Among the apprentices in his studio were Lorenzo Coullaut Valera and Jacinto Higueras. Querol also worked as a businessman, dealing in Carrara marble; was involved in art expositions; wrote literary pieces under the pseudonym El Plutarco del Pueblo, the "People's Plutarch"; served as vice-director of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Madrid (1892–1895) and a Conservative deputy to the Cortes (for Roquetes); and was a man about town.

Science, detail of the finial group for the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
finial figure of Spain with circular garland, atop the Biblioteca Nacional de España, Madrid, 1892-1903

Querol died in Madrid,[2] and is buried in San Justo in Madrid.[2]

He left unfinished monuments in Tortosa, Buenos Aires, Guayaquil, and Montevideo, which were later completed after his death. One example is the Monument De los Españoles in Buenos Aires. The elaborate sculpture, representing a statue of Liberty on a tower, with an extensive frieze at the base, all of it set in a pool with fountains, surrounded by monumental bronze figures dedicated to the Constitution of Argentina and the country's regions, was designed before Querol's death. It was begun in 1910, assigned to a replacement sculptor Cipriano Folgueras who then died in 1911, and further delayed with the tragic 1916 loss of the trans-Atlantic steamer Prince of Asturias, which sank with the loss of 457 lives and a cargo of finished bronze and marble sculptures. The monument was finally completed in 1927.



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