Europe

Spanish Civil War: Rediscovered photos in Navarra museum

A museum has opened in the Spanish city of Pamplona that brings together the performing arts, painting, sculpture and one of Spain's largest collection of photographs, dating back to the 19th Century.

The Museum University of Navarra, built by celebrated Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, features previously unseen works by Picasso, Rothko and Kandinsky and also one of Spain's largest collections of photos from the 19th Century.

Among the collection are images, many previously unseen, from two of the most celebrated photojournalists of the Spanish Civil War, Agusti Centelles (1909-1985) and Hungarian-born Robert Capa (1913-1954).

The 1936-39 war - often referred to as the "dress rehearsal" for WW2 - pitted right-wing Nationalists against left-wing Republicans, culminating in victory for the fascist forces of General Franco.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, Vegap 2015

Hungarian photographer Robert Capa built his reputation during the Spanish civil war, capturing images of anti-nationalist fighters. In the above image, he captures men and women training to use weapons. Spain's left-wing government guaranteed women and men equal rights, and women were given an active role in defending the Republic against fascism.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, Vegap 2015

Agusti Centelles, who was also widely known for his images of the civil war, was often known as the Catalan Capa. In this image from the front at Aragon, in north-eastern Spain, Centelles captures the hardship of soldiers at the front line. This picture shows the versatility of the new Leica cameras. A much lighter camera than previously available, the Leica gave photographers the freedom and mobility needed to bring the scene to life.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

Robert Capa always believed in photographing as close to the action as possible, and the blurred, mis-framed image above illustrates the fast pace of a scene of war. There was no time for staging this image, again from the Aragon front in the north-east in 1936.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

Spain's Civil War was one of the first major conflicts to be conveyed to an international audience almost in real time. This well-known photo by Robert Capa shows a man throwing a hand grenade.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

This dramatic photo by Agusti Centelles is of a Spanish militiaman. Centelles and his Leica were involved in the conflict from the very start, on the streets of Barcelona, on the front line while serving as a soldier, and then as a photojournalist. His final pictures were in an internment camp in southern France.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

This 1936 picture by Robert Capa in Barcelona came after the military uprising against the Republican government. It shows militiawoman relaxing with a women's magazine, with her rifle close at hand.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

Refugees, by Agusti Centelles. He bought his Leica camera in 1934, paying for it in instalments. "I wanted to hunt down the story," he once said.

"I rebelled against the tyranny of magnesium (cartridges), all photographs looking the same. I was looking for something else, to follow the story, like a detective."

Centelles eventually left Spain in 1939 with a suitcase full of 4,000 negatives, spending some time interned in a French camp at Bram before leaving for the US.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

Republican assault guards on La Calle Diputacion in Barcelona, by Agusti Centelles, 1939. This is one of the best known images from Spain's Civil War. The photo shows how quickly battles erupted in the streets of Barcelona and the people depicted were real fighters on the genuine site of a battle. But the scene itself appears to have been staged after the clash was over.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

It was important for the Republican government to highlight the care it was taking of the Spanish people and this photograph from the Propaganda Commissariat Propaganda shows a collection of toys for the children of Aragon.

Image copyright Museo Universidad de Navarra, VEGAP 2015

This anonymous photo shows an avant-garde model that was used to communicate a message to Republicans - that Spaniards were united in the fight against fascism.

This collection of photographs was put together with the help of Museum University of Navarra and its curator, Ignacio Migueliz Valcarlos.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites