For a few years, Spanish painter and sculptor José García Ortega (1921-1990) – an anti-Franco militant who spent a long exile in Europe, mostly in France and Italy – lived in Bosco, in the province of Salerno, in what would become today’s “Casa Ortega” Museum.
Ortega had been in Matera in 1973, creating outstanding painting cycles like “Death and birth of the innocent”. In 1980 he returned to Italy and bought a house in Bosco, which he said reminded him of his homeland Spain.
The “pintor de La Mancha” filled his abode with art, creating an environment that to this day shines with the beauty of his works. The great poet Rafael Alberti invented the word “ortegan” to refer to the oppression endured by Spanish farmers at the time.
The realist painter once wrote to the people of Bosco, declaring “I like it here, because I have found the same angst and misery of my own people. I have found the colors of my homeland. I have stopped here because farm hands have dry, dark skin like Spanish farmers”.
In his home-workshop, the maiolica murals, decorated ceramics, paintings, and sculptures make it look like he has just left for a moment, to go outside and let this slice of Mancha in Cilento inspire him.