Magín Berenguer Portrait of Father Feijoo

Inventory no.
198x142 cm

Seated portrait of Father Feijoo. The figure, set in his cell, is outlined in the foreground, attentive to the viewer. He is represented as a young man who interrupts the reading of a book which rests on a table, one of whose corners is barely visible, thus returning to the metaphor of the intellectual vocation of the subject.

Dressed in the hooded black Benedictine habit, he presents a relaxed attitude which is evident in his posture, in general, and in his hands, in particular. Barely a third of his right hand may be seen resting on the book, while the other is hanging from the arm of the high-back chair. In the background, a kneeler and a crucifix make reference again to the ecclesiastical nature of the subject.

In this work, which carries the inscription ", there is a predominance of dark tones, combining blacks, browns and ochres, with the light being concentrated almost entirely on the face, hands and border area where the crucifix and the kneeler are placed.

Benito Jerónimo Feijoo is considered one of the members of the first Spanish Enlightenment. He was lecturer in Theology at the University of Oviedo and it was from this city that he began the process of criticizing the traditional university, which he would later continue to do with the Ilustrados (Enlightened), and which, in the case of Oviedo, culminated in the 1774 reform plan promoted by Pedro Rodríguez Campomanes./p>

Magin Berenguer did this painting at only 24 years of age. Although the work is dated in 1942, the year 1993 also appears on the canvas as being when the artist went to the Great Hall to place his signature on the work, which was recorded in the catalogue for the artist's retrospective exhibition organized by the "City of Oviedo" Centre of Modern Art in 1996.

Magin Berenguer (1918-2000) studied Fine Arts in Oviedo and Madrid between 1929 and 1936, the latter being the year in which he held his first painting exhibition in Oviedo. He excelled in mural painting and did work and archaeological studies of the painting in the Romanesque churches and prehistoric caves in Asturias

Bibliographical references
  • FEÁS COSTILLA; Luis (1996) Magín Berenguer: exposición antológica Fundación Municipal de Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Oviedo. Oviedo: CAMCO
  • PALACIO ÁLVAREZ, Alfonso (2005) Catálogo de las colecciones de arte asturiano del siglo XX. Oviedo: Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias.
Documentary sources
  • Minutes of the Board of Governors of the University of Oviedo. Session: 22 September 1942.
  • Historical Archives of the University of Oviedo. File C
Location on the mapUbicación de la obra en las instalaciones de la Universidad


  • Universidad de Oviedo
  • Campus de Excelencia Internacional