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Atlante. The Sculpture of Málaga's City Hall


This symbolises the everyday citizen who bears the weight of public finance through their taxes



In Greek mythology, Atlante was a Titan, a member of a race of giants. Punished by Zeus for leading the Titans in their war against the Olympians, he was doomed to hold up the pillars of the heavens near the Garden of the Hesperides. For this supporting role, architectural elements in the form of a male figure are known as 'atlantes'.



This Atlante carries an allegorical value: it represents taxpayers who prop up the public purse with their taxes. The sculpture is part of a collection of sixteen that are located on the four corners of Málaga's City Hall. The figures are muscular, half-body male figures, with strained arms and expressions of suffering, embedded in large volute corbels.


Author and Characteristics of Málaga City Hall Building


The positioning of these figures suggests that their creator, Diego García Carreras, likely drew inspiration from dock workers. However, from the outset, they were known as the 'taxpayers', as recorded in the press of April 1919, when the building was handed over after more than seven years of construction work.



The exceptional City Hall building was built according to a design by architects Manuel Rivera Vera and Fernando Guerrero Strachan. The exterior decoration was the work of sculptors Francisco Palma García, and Diego García Carreras.



After studying at the School of the Academy of Fine Arts, Diego García Carreras was granted a pension by the City Council. In 1913, he became a professor of Modelling and Casting at the School of Arts and Crafts, where he taught until his retirement in 1949. With a touch of humour, some say the atlantes were created covering their ears, so as not to hear the nonsense spoken inside.



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