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The Naked Pilgrim

Bert45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
Now that I have your attention, I will let you down gently and tell you that I am referring to the bronze sculpture in front of the Cathedral in Burgos. The following can be found on the internet: "El popular peregrino en bronce de la plaza del Rey San Fernando es obra del escultor burgalés Teodoro Antonio Ruiz Ruiz (Olmos de Atapuerca, 1952). Inicialmente la obra fue exhibida en el Paseo del Espolón, a las puertas del Consulado del Mar, como pieza de una exposición del artista promovida por la Diputación de Burgos. En abril de 1999 la obra escultórica, tras una pequeña restauración, fue trasladada a la plaza del Rey San Fernando, inicialmente frente a la la fachada del templo aunque después cambió el emplazamiento para que los turistas se pudieran fotografiar con la estatua manteniendo de fondo la Catedral. En enero de 2000, el peregrino fue adquirido por el Ayuntamiento de Burgos en cerca de 10 millones de pesetas."
I took a photo of 'him' in 2003 when he was facing the Cathedral and one in 2014 when he and the bench had been turned round. I have asked the Burgos tourist office and they referred me to the Archives, who suggested I check the statue's Twitter account. I did that and my questions weren't answered there. My questions are:
1) When was the statue first exhibited in the Paseo del Espolón?
2) When was the statue (and bench) turned around?
3) (Less important) Is the bench part of the sculpture? I mean, did Teodoro Ruiz make the bench for the statue, or is it a bench that had already been made?
If you can answer any of my questions, I would be grateful.
 
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Bert45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
"Perhaps gravity caught up with him as it does us all." What's gravity got to do with it?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I thought you were referring to Brian Sewell’s documentary on the Camino!
Brian Sewell's fantastic DVD was my first thought (general note: not a Camino walker documentary, you may be disappointed).

My second thought was the real life naked pilgrim who walked into Santiago in July 2020 completamente desnudo - totally naked. One of numerous photos on Twitter and in the Spanish media at the time:
A naked pilgrim.jpg
 
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Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
There is a tradition among some to hike naked on the Appalachian Trail on the day of the summer solstice. Sometimes it’s drama, sometimes it’s comedy.

Isn't that breaking some law of... decency?

They could end up in the Appalachian Trial instead!

*ba-dum-tch*
 

Blue Tang

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September (2017)
Now that I have your attention, I will let you down gently and tell you that I am referring to the bronze sculpture in front of the Cathedral in Burgos. The following can be found on the internet: "El popular peregrino en bronce de la plaza del Rey San Fernando es obra del escultor burgalés Teodoro Antonio Ruiz Ruiz (Olmos de Atapuerca, 1952). Inicialmente la obra fue exhibida en el Paseo del Espolón, a las puertas del Consulado del Mar, como pieza de una exposición del artista promovida por la Diputación de Burgos. En abril de 1999 la obra escultórica, tras una pequeña restauración, fue trasladada a la plaza del Rey San Fernando, inicialmente frente a la la fachada del templo aunque después cambió el emplazamiento para que los turistas se pudieran fotografiar con la estatua manteniendo de fondo la Catedral. En enero de 2000, el peregrino fue adquirido por el Ayuntamiento de Burgos en cerca de 10 millones de pesetas."
I took a photo of 'him' in 2003 when he was facing the Cathedral and one in 2014 when he and the bench had been turned round. I have asked the Burgos tourist office and they referred me to the Archives, who suggested I check the statue's Twitter account. I did that and my questions weren't answered there. My questions are:
1) When was the statue first exhibited in the Paseo del Espolón?
2) When was the statue (and bench) turned around?
3) (Less important) Is the bench part of the sculpture? I mean, did Teodoro Ruiz make the bench for the statue, or is it a bench that had already been made?
If you can answer any of my questions, I would be grateful.
I can possibly answer your least important question #3.

The artist’s website shows the bench as part of the sculpture, so it seems safe to assume it is part of the work. https://ta.ruizarte.com/

One can find images of the sculpture in Google Images. Beginning at page 14 of the pdf book linked here, you can find information in Spanish:


Google translate and several other translation programs provide the following:

A break on the Camino

The fatigue of the Camino and the need for a moment of rest to regain strength and, why not, also to abandon oneself to meditation and contemplation, have a place in Jacobean sculpture.

One of the most significant examples is in the Plaza del Rey San Fernando in Burgos, with the cathedral as an imposing backdrop, where the work Peregrino (El Peregrino), by the sculptor Teodoro Antonio Ruiz is located (Fig. 9).

The work, which has been exhibited in various locations since it was first shown in the Paseo del Espolón as part of an exhibition by the artist promoted by the Diputación de Burgos, shows a pilgrim resting in a relaxed attitude on the end of a bench, thus inviting the viewer to take an active part in the work, as it allows him to share a moment with the artist; thus fulfilling one of the basic premises of the artist from Burgos, who seeks in his sculptures surprise and integration in the urban environment in which they are placed.

In the work, Teodoro Ruiz demonstrates his predilection for bronze, a material in which he has created a universe of forms over the course of several decades, in a figurative and classical line in his early works, and with a modern invoice in his most recent pieces, but always providing a solidity and special brilliance to metal that turns his works into imperishable objects.

A sculptor who feels admiration for Julio González and Pablo Gargallo, he works with bronze to achieve very different textures, as is shown in the monument in Burgos, in which he polishes some details until they acquire a precious golden tone, as we can see in the face, the start of the shoulders, the shell resting on his chest, or the upper part of the staff from which hangs a gourd on which the artist's signature can be read; also the bench that serves as a rest for the bronze pilgrim acquires that polished character that confers a certain hyperrealism. However, the body presents a rough treatment, almost as if it were tree bark, or rather, as if it were covered with wounds and lacerations. Special mention should be made in this regard to the back, where the spine is marked and appears to be split open. The rough treatment of the material gives the work greater expressiveness and gives it a certain pictorial character. ***
 

Kathar1na

Member
Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I have asked the Burgos tourist office and they referred me to the Archives, who suggested I check the statue's Twitter account
Does the statue actually have a Twitter account? Or did they mean the Twitter account of the Burgos tourist office? Their Twitter account posted a photo that shows the back of the statue:

Burgos peregrino.jpg
 

Thomas Yingst

Tom ... “the kid”
Past OR future Camino
Portugal. May 2019
Now that I have your attention, I will let you down gently and tell you that I am referring to the bronze sculpture in front of the Cathedral in Burgos. The following can be found on the internet: "El popular peregrino en bronce de la plaza del Rey San Fernando es obra del escultor burgalés Teodoro Antonio Ruiz Ruiz (Olmos de Atapuerca, 1952). Inicialmente la obra fue exhibida en el Paseo del Espolón, a las puertas del Consulado del Mar, como pieza de una exposición del artista promovida por la Diputación de Burgos. En abril de 1999 la obra escultórica, tras una pequeña restauración, fue trasladada a la plaza del Rey San Fernando, inicialmente frente a la la fachada del templo aunque después cambió el emplazamiento para que los turistas se pudieran fotografiar con la estatua manteniendo de fondo la Catedral. En enero de 2000, el peregrino fue adquirido por el Ayuntamiento de Burgos en cerca de 10 millones de pesetas."
I took a photo of 'him' in 2003 when he was facing the Cathedral and one in 2014 when he and the bench had been turned round. I have asked the Burgos tourist office and they referred me to the Archives, who suggested I check the statue's Twitter account. I did that and my questions weren't answered there. My questions are:
1) When was the statue first exhibited in the Paseo del Espolón?
2) When was the statue (and bench) turned around?
3) (Less important) Is the bench part of the sculpture? I mean, did Teodoro Ruiz make the bench for the statue, or is it a bench that had already been made?
If you can answer any of my questions, I would be grateful.
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Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
Brian Sewell's fantastic DVD was my first thought (general note: not a Camino walker documentary, you may be disappointed).

My second thought was the real life naked pilgrim who walked into Santiago in July 2020 completamente desnudo - totally naked. One of numerous photos on Twitter and in the Spanish media at the time:
View attachment 105419
Good for him. Why the heck not?
 

Bert45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
Does the statue actually have a Twitter account? Or did they mean the Twitter account of the Burgos tourist office? Their Twitter account posted a photo that shows the back of the statue:

View attachment 105481
They meant the Twitter account of the statue! "Esta estatua tiene cuenta en twitter: @PeregrinoBu por lo que debe mirar en esa cuenta pues con seguridad se informará de cuando se dio la vuelta a la estatua." -- Nothing new since 2016. They were wrong. He doesn't say when he turned around. Interesting to find that, in Spanish, 'upside down' and 'back to front' are the same, at least, according to Google Translate.
 

dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Slightly off topic (no surprise there, then)

We do have our own naked rambler in the UK


An ex Royal Marine, which explains a lot.

Not been seen for a while. Perhaps gravity caught up with him as it does us all.
I think he got busted, not sure what for though.
 

Blue Tang

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September (2017)
But can we all get back to the point of my OP? If you can't answer my questions, please don't drivel on this thread.
Bert45, as part of my virtual Camino, I had been studying the statuaries of Burgos when I read your initial questions, so I took a few minor detours in search of answers. Short version: No luck on your first two questions at all. Longer version: Possibly because public use of the Internet was largely tied to slow modems, and had not yet exploded, in the 1990s, information and photos from that period are a bit scarce. The earliest dated photos I found of El Peregrino are from 2009. By that time, our benched friend already had been moved and was facing away from the cathedral. See, for example, this Google Maps street view with an image capture date of July, 2009:


Alamy has a stock photo dated May 14, 2009, showing the front view in the same placement:


By November 7, 2010, our peripatetic friend appears to have moved to an upper level of the cathedral balcony as shown in this night photo:


By November 7 of the following year, he had wandered back to the lower elevation:

https://flic.kr/p/aDhxza
He appears in photos after 2011 in this position, facing away from the cathedral:


So, your 2003 photo in which he faces the cathedral may be unique. Any chance you could share a copy?
 
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Bert45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2003) Francés, (2014) Francés, (2016) Portugués , (2016) Aragonés, (2018) del Norte to Primitivo,
Here he is, with me:
The photo was taken 21 April 2003 (on film), by a passer-by or possibly another pilgrim.
Wow! I have put a unique photo on the internet!
 

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Blue Tang

New Member
Past OR future Camino
September (2017)
Here he is, with me:
The photo was taken 21 April 2003 (on film), by a passer-by or possibly another pilgrim.
Wow! I have put a unique photo on the internet!
Nicely and uniquely done! Thank you very much. During my searches, I saw no photos from that perspective.
 

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