Clive Booth, a maker of ingenious 'tellers', from Barcelona, has donated a copy of L’Auca de Senyor Esteve to the museum. It arrived with us last week, and immediately we put finger to keyboard to search the internet for more information about the Auca tradition. Both pictures and words are important. The story is told in 2-line rhymes, and, like the Kebra Negast hanging shown as Exhibit of the Month 25, there is a set formula for the scenes, which are depicted in blocks of four.
L’Auca de Senyor Esteve is based on a 1907 novel which later evolved into a 1917 play, and describes the co-dependency and conflicts of the income-generating classes of North Eastern Spain and the region’s flourishing artistic movement, through the life of one man. It adapts the auca tradition to tell the story, no longer the 24 or 48 scenes laid out in fours, but twenty seven tableaux. Our print reverts to traditional rows of four pictures and omits three scenes.
Auca’s date from the 17th century and if you search the streets of Barcelona you will see several tiled versions. Click here to go to the blog of Barcelona-based photographer, Carlos Lorenzo, with its stunning photograph of a tiled ‘L’Auca de Senyor Esteve’ and lots of extra information. This version also allows you to view the other three episodes.