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Somewhere in La Mancha (1913-1932)
Miguel Fisac Serna was born in Daimiel (Ciudad Real) in 1913, in a peaceful place that was distant from the Europe being challenged by the avant-garde at the time, in which Igor Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ was having its premier and Wassily Kandinsky was formulating his theories on abstract art. He was brought up in a family atmosphere with no connection to the world of architecture, although his father Joaquin Fisac, pharmacist and proprietor of a prestigious pharmacy, displayed his artistic talents through his love for photography. Surprisingly Miguel, the youngest of three brothers, showed his passion for drawing and painting from a very young age, despite having no innate ability, whereas his mathematical skills and ability at natural history and everything related to animals was obvious. After finishing his studies for the University Bachillerato at the National Institute in Badajoz, at the age of seventeen he moved to Madrid to study architecture, despite the scepticism of his father who could not imagine having a son who was an architect, and the reservations of his first teacher, Antonio Florez, who did not like his pupil’s hard, direct drawing style.
However, these early obstacles had no effect on a young man who was determined to become an architect and who drew tirelessly in his efforts to achieve this, insisting on going through the whole repertory of classical statuary in the tenth floor apartment of the recently inaugurated Palacio de la Prensa that served as the academy of Don Enrique Lopez Izquierdo. Beside this building, at number 4 Calle Miguel Moya, was the Pension Sari in which Miguel Fisac made his first friendships with a group of civil engineering students. He stayed here until he moved to another pension at number 2 Calle Arenal. Its balcony looking out onto the Puerta del Sol allowed him to witness first hand the declaration of the Second Republic by Don Niceto Alcala Zamora on 14th April 1931. The life of a training student alternated with frequent visits to the Prado Museum and the enjoyment of the mountain air of the Sierra de Guadarrama, whose landmarks of Ventorillo, Navacerrada or La Maliciosa were frequent destinations for the group of friends that made up the ‘Ingar’ society on their ski-ing trips or when they went to lose themselves for a few days staying in refuges. Finally so much effort and determination at his drawing bore fruit and in June 1932 he passed his exam in statuary at the School of Architecture, which at that time was in the building of the present Instituto de San Isidro, in Calle de los Estudios, which allowed him to begin his architecture studies that year.
© Vicente Patón-Alberto Tellería
© Fundación Fisac