Manuel Fernandez – 1922

Javier’s parents brought us (what seems like) an entire suitcase full of items from Chile, including a sweet photo of Javier’s great-grandfather Manuel Fernandez. Los papas de Javier trajeron (lo que parece ser) una maleta llena de cosas de Chile, incluyendo una foto genial de el bis-abuelo de Javier, Manuel Fernandez.

Manuel was from Santander, Spain, but he fled to Chile in the 20s. Javier’s parents brought the photo so that we could digitize it before it gets too old and worn, so I cut out the back of the frame that it was in to get the photo out and scan it. When I opened the back of the frame, the first thing I noticed was a piece of paper behind the photo that looked like a card. It turned out to be an invitation to Manuel’s bachelor dinner, including the menu for the dinner, which was held in Los Anjeles (now spelled Los Angeles), Chile. On the other side of the paper, all of the guests signed the menu / invitation. There was also a little note on the back of the photo of Manuel that says “dedicated to my future sister-in-law Celmira Valdebenito, Los Anjeles April 29 1922, Manuel Fernandez” . Manuel era de Santander, Espana pero escapo a Chile en los anos 20. Los papas de Javier trajeron la foto para que yo la pudiera digitalizar antes de que se pusiera muy viaje y se arruinara, asi que corte la parte de atras del marco y saque la foto para escanearla. Cuando abri la parte de atras del marco, la primera cosa que vi fue una pieza de papel detras de la foto que parecia una postal. La di vuelta, y era una invitacion para una comida en celebracion al pronto matrimonio de Manuel, incluyendo el menu, la cual se llevo a cabo en Los Anjeles (ahora escrito Los Angeles). En el otro lado del papel, todos los invitados habian firmado el documento. Tambien habia una pequena nota en la foto que dice “dedicada a mi futura cunada Celmira Valdebenito, Los Anjeles Abril 29, 1922, Manuel Fernandez.”

The last thing that was with the picture was actually a painting on the opposite side of the backing of the frame. From what we can tell, the artist was Rubio Sevilla, which doesn’t ring a bell to anyone in the family. The painting is directly on the frame backing and some of the paint is starting to chip off, so we’re handling it carefully until we can get it into a frame. It’s a painting of a “corrida de toros,” or a bullfight, and it’s beautiful! So not only do we now have a wonderful photo of Javier’s great-grandfather and know a little more about his history, but we have a cool invitation from I’m guessing around the 1920s and a beautiful painting. Check back on the blog soon for another post about an INCREDIBLE item that Javier’s parents brought us…a door! Not just any door though…we’ll post about it next – it’s so amazing! La ultima cosa era que la foto tenia una pintura en la cara opuesta del pedazo de madera que sujeta la foto en el marco. Por lo que pudo leer, el artista parece ser Rubio Sevilla, un nombre que no le es familiar a nadie. La pintua esta hecha directamente en la madera y un poco de pintura se ha empezado a caer, asi que la tratamos con mucho cuidado. Es una pintura de una corrida do toros y es prciosa! Asi que no solo tenemos una foto fantastica del bisabuelo de Javier y sabemos algo nuevo de la historia de su familia, pero tambine una invitacion genial de los anos 20 y una pintura preciosa. Revisen el blog pronto para otro post sobre una cosa INCREIBLE que los padres de Javier nos han traido….una puerta!  No es una peurta cualquiera….escribiremos sobre ella ….es genial!

12 responses to “Manuel Fernandez – 1922”

  1. how freaking awesome!!! i love stuff like this. sooooo is the part-spaniard ever thinking of moving back to santander with his beautiful wife? or at least for a visit!

  2. I am just now getting to old emails — including this one. What a great legacy for you to be passing on!! Your g.grandpa was a handsome man, Javi! Like you.

  3. What a beautiful photo. Your grandfather looks like a character from “Pampa Ilusion”. I just love the small chair with the trimming. I think is so nice how you know that your family originally came from Santander, Spain. My husband actually comes from Galicia, Spain and we have driven through the north of Spain, possibly near Santander.
    With regards to the small painting, it’s magical. Very impressionistic. The use of the thick bold brush strokes reflects on the ability of the artist. This painting is definitely oils. It looks like there is a darker colour under the pink which is just above the bull’s back. It’s a shame there is so much mildew on the paint but you can always get these removed and restored. Never put oil painting behind glass.

    • Thank you Cecilia! He does look like a character of Pampa Ilusion, you are totally right…hahaha. I was so excited to see a picture of my great grandfather, I had never seen him before. We love to learning about our family history. Where are you from? How long have you lived in Australia?

      • Hello Javier. I was born in Chile and my parents migrated to Australia in 1977. A long time ago. We live in the beautiful city of Sydney. Reading your blog has been very exciting. We have quite a few things in common. e.g.: We have visited Santiago de Compostela and Santiago de Chile. My husband is from Galicia Spain which is in the north just like Santander and we r both from Chile.

      • Cecilia, I am glad to hear that you are enjoying the blog. We love to hear from people in other parts of the world and it makes it even better when we find out that we have many things in common. Me and Leslie would LOVE to visit Australia…it is such an interesting place, I have absolutely no doubt that you live in a beautiful place. Please keep sharing with us your thoughts about the posts and any of your own stories that relate to anything we write about. We enjoy reading comments and learning about the people that visit the blog.

  4. Greetings! I have been researching Rubio Sevilla for a little while. I have inherited a tambourine with a painting of his on it. It is also of a matador, and the colors are the same. I was unsure if Rubio Sevilla was a location or the artist. Inside the tambourine is the date “Abril 25, 1914.”

    My great-grandparents were from Girona, Spain and emigrated to France and then in 1912 to the U.S. My great-uncle worked in the import business and was back and forth to Europe quite often. My guess is that he bought the tambourine for my grandmother or her sister.

    I would love to email you a photo of the tambourine as I am trying to find out any information I can about it.

    • Hi Sharron,

      That is so interesting!! We would love to see a picture of it. We were never able to find anything out about him either, though. We are guessing it is a name since it’s more common to sign with a name than a place…but that’s just conjecture. Our e-mail is if you want to send it. Sorry we don’t have any more info…if you find anything please let us know! We would love any information!

      • I’ll send a photo today. Also, forgot to add that along with the date, “Sevilla” is also on the inside of the tambourine. I seriously always thought it was a place since I have never been able to find ANYTHING on an artist of that name, and there is a town of Rubio near Seville (which I thought might also be called “Sevilla.” I don’t speak Spanish, so I have no idea.) Now, I am thinking that Rubio Sevilla signed this tambourine on April 25, 1914. That would be pretty cool! Maybe together we can find something out about Rubio!

      • Well, you may be on to something there – Sevilla is Seville (it’s Sevilla in Spanish) and if there is a town nearby…I mean who knows! Sevilla is in the south of Spain where most of the bullfighting action happens. I tried to look up famous matadors named Rubio who maybe lived in Sevilla in the 1920s…no luck. I’m not a very good detective! haha

  5. I don’t know if my first comment was accepted or not… Had to reset password.
    I too have a Rubio Sevilla and am clueless! Has anyone learned anything else? Happy to share a photo, will try the email address above!

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