It is unusual that living woods are part of a piece of artwork, but when they are, the result is often a perfect harmony between nature and art. This compatibility can be seen in the forest of Oma by Agustín Ibarrola and also through the gazebo of Bécquer of Seville.
This tribute through artwork was created from the initiative of the Álvarez Quintero brothers (main investors) by following a sketch by the sculptor Lorenzo Coullaut Valera.
The gazebo is made up of various figures of marble and bronze and there is a distinctively placed bust of Bécquer, which is partially wrapped in a cape and placed on a unique marble slab. Four feminine figures of Bécquer lovers are located at the foot of the slab representing amazing love, possessed love, lost love and dying wounded love. A small winged boy with a bow and arrow, or Cupid, illustrating “love that hurts” is placed close by to finish the piece and is also expressed by Bécquer in the poem “love that goes”.
The most interesting thing about this artwork may be the combination of materials. The sculpture stands before a massive Tax odium or cypress tree brought from the Americas to the duke of Montpensier garden more than one hundred and fifty years ago. This tree is located at the centre of the monument, therefore adding living wood to the materials located in the allegorical gazebo.
It is said that the decision to place the monument before this immense tree is regarded as a symbol of tragedy. Indeed, for Lorenzo Coullaut portraying Bécquers love was not the only intention, and instead all separated entities of the artwork must work in harmony and express the same feeling.
In 1990, restoration work was carried out as the tree began to increase in diameter leading to the cracking of the marble. A new intervention will need to be carried out in the future due to the constant growing of the tree.
Legend has it that this slow destruction is not accidental and Coullaut perhaps determined the final destination of Bécquers lovers in the most romantic way we can imagine by sentencing the figures to perish under the power of the living wood.