Retiro Park

El Ángel Caído (The Fallen Angel, 1877) won Spanish sculptor Ricardo Bellver First Medal in Spain’s National Exhibition of Fine Arts, held in Madrid in 1878. Bellver’s Fallen Angel enjoyed a brief stay in Madrid’s Prado Museum, and in 1879 Benito Soriano Murillo, director of the Prado, decided to hand the statue over to the City of Madrid, believing El Ángel Caído should be placed outdoors to fully capture The Fallen Angel’s dramatic effect. In 1885, Bellver’s Fallen Angel statue was finally stationed in Madrid’s Retiro Park, resting atop a grand pedestal erected by the renowned architect Francisco Jareño. Walking through the majestic Retiro Park is a wonderfully daunting experience to begin with, but to see Ricardo Bellver’s El Ángel Caído in person is quite simply sublime. The countless photos of The Fallen Angel, including those captured below, cannot compare to the overwhelming feeling of standing in the Plaza del Ángel Caído, staring up at Ricardo Bellver’s artistic masterpiece, which truly brought the proud Miltonic-Romantic tradition’s Lucifer to life in all his damned, defiant magnificence.