Maritime Collection Emerencià Roig i Raventós

The character                                                                     

Emerencià Roig Raventós (Sitges,1881 - Barcelona, ​1935) was born in Sitges, son of illuminist painter Joan Roig Soler, and brother of physician and novelist Josep Roig i Raventós. He obtained a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona (1906), after eleven years he leaves his business because of asthma.


Roig devoted a lifetime to the study of Catalan maritime heritage and the Catalan navy of the nineteenth century, making a lot of field work with seafarers, trying to gather all possible information about sailing before the impact that represented steam engines. For  maritime heritage, the work of Roig the equivalent to Joan Amades or Ramon Violant i Simorra in ethnology, or Bosch Gimpera for archeology.


His research work is preserved in a number of publications and series that retain the maximum interest despite the passage of time. His following works are worth a mention:

The increase on transatlantic shipping (1918)

The old constructions of Blanes (1919)

Afforestation and Tree Festival (1920)

Of long gone marine life

Maritime vocabulary in the town of Blanes

Mountaineer Vocabulary in the town of Moyà

Maritime vocabulary in the town of Sitges

Maritime Blanes: historical notes (1924)

Collection of terms compiled in a pottery shop in Blanes (1925)

Fishing in Catalonia (1926)

Catalan navy during the nineteenth century (1929)

Along with Joan Amades, they publish jointly Vocabulary of seamanship and fishing (1924) and Vocabulary of fishing (1926) and, thanks to his knowledge of lexicography, he contributes to the development of General Dictionary of the Catalan Language with lists of words related to seamanship.


In the philological field, apart from compiling different maritime vocabularies, he is the collaborator number 1585 of Mn. Antoni Maria Alcover in the composition of the Catalan- Valencian-Balearic Dictionary. In 1923 he was awarded by the Institute of Catalan Studies as the author of the best maritime vocabulary.

A year before his death, he published a seminal work to further the knowledge of his native town, Sitges dels nostres avis (Sitges of our elders) (1934).




Maritime Collection Emerencià Roig i Raventós

Donated to the City Hall and to Sitges by his brother, the doctor and novelist Josep Roig Raventós. In 1930, the collection was exposed in Barcelona during the second period of the Universal Exposition of 1928. The terms of the donation were agreed on 17 February 1935; acceptance by the full City Council was formalized on 22 February and announced at the Journal of Art Museums of Barcelona in April 1935. The content of the donation was described in more detail in the Journal of October of the same year.


Installed in Palau Maricel (Maricel Palace) with the name of Catalan Maritime Collection, it was opened to the public on 14 June 1936 and remained there until 1971. Partially reopened for a time in 1977 on the ground floor of Palau Maricel, with entry door at Baluard Miquel Utrillo.


The year 1995 witnessed a new presentation of the permanent collection at the Maricel de Mar Museum, curated by Joan Alemany and Vicente García. The collection was divided into three halls:

I.Catalan Navy during the 19th century.

II.Teaching collections, nautical instruments, models of fishing, manuscripts and work.

III.Catalan fishing fleet.

The collection was open to the public until the closure of museum Maricel de Mar in 2010 due to the start of the project works.  The collection is in process of reinstallation at the Romantic Museum Can Llopis (second half 2015)

Description of the collection

The Maritime Collection Emerencià Roig Raventós is composed of about 350 objects not counting part of the documents, manuscripts and publications deposited at the Santiago Rusiñol Popular Library.       

•      64 models of ships (shipyard, half hull models, ship profiles ...), worthy of mention are forty two complete models: the round brigantine Soberano , five schooner brigs: Timoteo III, Pepita, Maria Teresa, Soberano III and Clotilde; the passenger liner San Juan; two large sailing ships (Havana and Pablo Sensat, record in the crossing of the Atlantic in 1878); the Bric Tub Acancia; two small boats; nine coastal trade ships: Rápido Malgrat, Montserrat, Esteban Garriga, Isabel, and others; seven fishing line ships; two keelages; five Sardinal boats; a boat, a yacht, a two-masted sailing ship, a Bussi, a vapor, a Venetian gondola and sandalwood, Pepilla.

•      Miniatures of navigation elements.

•      Elements related with sailing and life on board - octants, sailor boxes, blocks, charts ...

•      26 items related to fishing.

•      Representations of ships and nautical themed pictures: seventeen paintings depicting captains (one corresponding to Martí Alsina and five to Josep Pineda); two oils and ninety-eight drawings and watercolors by Emerencià Roig; lithographs; photos ...

•      Several lithographs; photographs.

•      Old tiles and ceramic pots.

•      A caricature of Emerencià Roig, by Joan J.Junceda.

•      Various magazines and newspapers.

•      Large number of marine life remains, basically from Blanes and Sitges.

The material preserved in Biblioteca Popular Santiago Rusiñol is highly interesting both intrinsically as a whole. The drawing notebook of Emerencià Roig contains a large number of boats and a seemingly exhaustive compilation of maritime votive offerings from chapels and Catalan churches, including ship models from Vinyet Chapel; a series of 59 drawings, plans and drawings of ships, as well as other graphics and photographic documents that were not utilized in the initial presentation of the collection in 1936 and, as a result of this, never s have been part of the collection of museums.

Cultural value, documentary value

A good collection about the Catalan navy for its documentary value about a world that was about to disappear one hundred years ago, and that now has disappeared completely. The world of sailing and traditional fishing. Roig was the forerunner and most important representative of Catalan maritime ethnology. Many observations contained in his essays would be impossible to recover right now because there are no oral sources.

The result of his work is a series of drawings and paintings that reveal a precise stroke and a remarkable ability. Without trying to be a real artist, and despite limitations due to specialization, the technical competence of his work is unquestionable.

The next exhibition will portray a strong historical and ethnographic character that acts as a complement for the artistic value of the objects.