This museum, opened in 1971, constitutes a veritable treasure trove that no visitor to the city should miss. Apart from the two rooms devoted to the life and work of Gijón’s most famous son, it also houses superb collections of 19th- and 20th-century art “made in Asturias” as well as an interesting collection of mainly Flemish and Dutch 17th- and 18th-century works.
The “Jovellanos rooms”, on the first floor, give you an insight into the life, work and times of this major figure of the Age of Enlightenment in Spain, and are decorated with personal objects, part of the mansion’s original furniture and painting’s from his collection, including a number of paintings by Goya.
The same floor also houses one of the most striking collections of sculpture to be found in all of Spain, that of the Gijón artist Jose María Navascués. Navascués created truly unique surrealistic wooden sculptures employing the tools and tricks of metalworking. You will not have seen anything like this, unless you’ve visited the Museum of Abstract Art in Cuenca, where other pieces by this ill-fated artist can also be found.
The collections of paintings by Asturian artists provides a great introduction to art “made in Asturias”, including works by Evaristo Valle, Nicanor Piñole, Joaquín Vaquero, Orlando Pelayo, Antonio Suárez and Alejandro Mieres, among others.
But whatever you do, don’t leave without climbing up into the attic to see the wonderful “Sea Tableaux” by Sebastián Miranda. This work, a representation of the local fish market in bygone days, is bursting with real-life characters from the fishermen’s quarter and faithfully reflects the hustle and bustle and atmosphere of this typically Asturian centre of social life and trade. You won’t regret the climb!