Tributo a Federico Benthem

16.02.2017

ON FEBRUARY 16, 2017, Federico embarked on the most intense voyage of his life-the one that would take him to the next world.
Born in the Andalusian town of Málaga on November 20, 1944, Federico Benthem Gross was the grandson of Julia Loring Heredia, the third Marquesa of Casa Loring, and of Ricardo Gross Orueta, the founder of the Museo Loringiano de Arqueologia de Málaga.
While still a young child, Federico received an important gift of artworks from his grandfather. It marked the beginning of his life as a collector and the birth of a limitless passion for archaeology and antiquity that would shape his existence.
At the age of eighteen, Federico left for Barcelona to pursue architecture studies. During this time, he also took his first trips to the American continent, where he visited Peru and especially Mexico, developing interest in the pre-Hispanic cultures, the artworks of which he actively began to collect.
He was a tireless adventurer and traveled the world as his passion for the traditional cultures of the Americas, Africa, Oceania, and Asia continued to grow. His enduring fascination for art and culture gave rise to his decision to become an art dealer.
He began to construct his professional life in Barcelona, and he participated in many national and international fairs, as well as in congresses and exhibitions. As a member of the Barcelona Association of Antique Dealers, he quickly gained the recognition of his peers and the confidence of his clients.
Federico was also admired by more than just a few collectors-sometimes jealously- for the quality of the pieces that he kept in his personal collection. His exquisite taste, his in-depth knowledge, and his charisma made him a primary reference point in Spain and a well-respected expert outside of his native country.
In the last years of his life, retired from active life and living in a beautiful villa in Marbella, he cultivated a new passion for landscaping. The garden he created was on the same level of quality as his home's interior, where the array of artworks from various periods and provenances dazzled his visitors.
The consummate host that he was, Federico never tired of receiving friends, clients, and acquaintances in this privileged environment.
The evenings were long and were animated by impassioned and fascinating conversations on art and the joys of life.
His friends will never forget his extroverted and ebullient character. Federico, we will miss you, and you will always be in our thoughts.
DAVID SERRA

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