Tag: Spanish Art

Luis Royo and His Fantastic Art

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Evolution by Luis Royo

Luis Royo was born in 1954 in Olalla, a small town near Teruel, Spain. When he was young, he moved with his family in Zaragoza, where he goes to school for the first time, and where his first drawing reminders returned to him. In these reminders, he sits under the large windows of the school, then pick…

His practical side, which he received from his family, led him to study the technical drawing. He discovers very quickly that the geometric forms do not entirely satisfy. He began to study painting, decoration and interior design school “industrial” and “worker arts school, and combine this with various works in design and interior design studios, between 1970 and 1971.

In the meantime, it combines its operations with the paint. Biased in May 1968, he paints large format paintings with social themes, which he shows in the exhibitions in 1972 and 1976, followed by a series of exhibitions in 1977.

When he discovered comics for adults, artist Enki Bilal and Moebius in 1978, Luis Royo began drawing comics for different fanzines and show them at the Festival “BD Angouleme in 1980.

Alone by Luis Royo

In 1979, he left out his work in design studios, to devote entirely to comics. In 1981 and 1982, his work was published as “Comix International”, the “Rambla”, and sometimes in the Vibora “El” and “Heavy Metal”.

In 1983, a meeting with Rafael Martínez, in the festival “Zaragoza Comics” will determine his future career. It is controlled by the product MARTINEZ five digits for Editorial Norma, marking the beginning of a new born professional cooperation between them.

His work is not confined within the national territory, it is also published in foreign media. His work is also published in the United States, the United Kingdom. and Sweden, where he covers for publishers glamorous as “Tor Books,” Berkley “,” Avon “,” Warner “,” Batman “, and others!

American magazines like “Heavy Metal” and “National Lampoon” asked Luis Royo covers a little more. Also ask whether European magazines such as “Cimoc”, “Comic Art”, “compresses Era”, “Total Metal”, and others. Nevertheless, his work is not reserved for magazine covers, he is also asked to make covers for videos and video games.

Luis Royo Biography

In 1985, alongside his work as an illustrator, he published a cartoon in the “Rambla” series and a year later, in “Ediciones Ikusager SA”, he publishes a comic called “DESFASE.

In 1990, when established in a privileged position on the international market of the figure, it improves the amount of his own worh, as opposed to commissioned works. The large amount of his work is bought by different media or included in compilations.

In 1992, thanks to a proposal made some years earlier by the man who discovered it, he published his first compilation work: “Women”, an album together all his best work so far. With this compilation, it is already identified as a great illustrator and his penchant for attracting women began to emerge clearly. It was a wonderful book for lovers of comics, covering a wide range of series, which were published by “Sun Editorial” France and “Ediciones Comic Forum in Germany. Based on this compilation, he made his first exhibition of original illustrations.

A year later, his paintings make a collection of comic cards using his characters, known as “fantasy to reality.”

After the success of its first compilation in 1994 “MALEFIC” is published with the most numbers of Luis Royo, establishing a large number of worlds and colors. In “MALEFIC, the illustrator set is named – An illustrator not only able to portray future worlds of imagination, but also to create a history and a form around the personality that gives the book title.

In the same year, “women” should be published, and the United States, “Penthouse” write an article on his figures.

In 1995, new publishers are beginning to be interested in Luis Royo works: “Ballantine”, “Naw”, “Daw” Doubleday “,” Harper Paperbacks, “” Zebra “,” Fasa Corporation “,” Pocket Books “( Star Trek series), Penthouse Comix “and” Fller Ulta X-Men for Marvel. Since that year, the works of Luis Royo is published in multiple formats and in many countries: calendars, posters, T-shirts , CD jackets, mouse pads, trading cards in collaboration with other artists, as in “The Art of heavy metal” or individually, as in “THE BEST OF ROYO”.

The imagination and quality of Luis Royo begin to take place in any type of media, and his name is becoming well known. In 1996, he made a resumption of “Penthouse” in the United States and Germany. The same year, numerous reports on its work are published. He also received the Silver Award SPECTRUM III “, the Best of the fantastic contemporary United States.

After the success of “MALEFIC,” his third album, “Secrets”, was published in 1996, showing women and magic in the central role, and the presence of basic beauty and the beast. This work is published by NBM for English-speaking countries. But he surprised his fans in the same year, with the brochure “hot winds”, published by Norma Editorial “in cooperation with” Heavy Metal “.

In 1997, the emphasis placed by Luis Royo Heavy Metal is shown in a large quantity of blankets and calendars, and also in her gallery, which is entirely dedicated to Royo. The outcome of interest to a committee for the coverage of the twentieth anniversary edition of the journal, and a series of numbers on the character of FAAK (Julie Strain) by Kevin Eastman.

In the same year, two new collections of collectible cards are issued: “ROYO SECRET desires” and “artistic choice” (in common with other artists). Finally, “women” and “MALEFIC” are published in the United States U.S. and one is re-published in Spain.

A year later, his book is published next figure: “III Millennium”. In this book, Royo replaces his palette of colors and gives us his own particular vision of the end of the century. In addition, in 1998, he presented his collection of Tarot cards, the “BLACK TAROT”. In 1999, he produced the calendar Heavy Metal and his fifth collection of cards under the name “III Millennium”. It was a year where Luis Royo has shown a clear evolution models bold figures.

To fit in with the Barcelona Comic Fair “in 1999, an exhibition Royo new album” Dreams “- a compilation of all figures commissioned for his last ten years. What is striking about this album is the versatility of the artist to adapt to different subjects and styles.

The artist gives us, at the end of the year, a more daring and honest than ever: the first volume of “forbidden books”, with surprising erotic content in which the tale of “Beauty and the Beast has a major importance. This deluxe edition, smaller than previous albums, we offer images as sensual as ever. “EVOLUTION” remind us of the great album format containing more personal works. The choice of figures clock’s are marked by hand, time and science fiction, and are described with the presence of any women that were expressions become more confident and dominant. This album is accompanied by a study of personality of “MALEFIC.

Initially conceived as a trilogy, “prohibits BOOK II” was published in 2001 – A book in which sensations are transferred to the reader by the force of the characters. continuity in the first volume, he offers a different vision of sensuality, closer to the dreams and secret desires, prohibited.

Increasingly focused on his own work, his best female characters are played by “Fournier” poker cards pack.

In 2002, Luis Royo presents some of his secrets in “ideas” – a book that describes the process of creation and also presents a collection of images of the artist and trends which enables us to appreciate the study of personality, illustrations and design solutions that replace many Royo considers before making his final work.

“VISIOS” was published in 2003. It is a compilation by Kevin Eastman, creator of “ninja turtles”, in which images are dominated by Luis Royo skills and imagination. It develops new details and a wide range of colors, including dragons who occupy a privileged position with a woman.

“Forbidden Book III” is the latest of the “forbidden books”. In this volume, readers are confined in the beauty, tenderness and the desire of the images. – Pictures of the sensuality that can be regarded as monstrous .

Fall 2003, the artist opened his work with a series of numbers and projects for the illustrations in his compilation books, accompanied by texts in order to improve the reader experience. With “designs II, it goes further than the first volume, presenting models of colors to be contrasted with the projects pencil.

“Fantastic Art” is the largest compilation so far. Published in May 2004, he assembled the most complete collection of illustrations of the artist. Released in two formats for high quality, luxury limited edition is a good example of the importance of the compilation. Imagination and reality met in the images, which were exhibits Royo own particular point of view of the world, myths, legends that have shaped it. It is a vision of reality in the future must assume its own challenges.

Luis Royo moved to Barcelona where he found a very nice place, the Gothic Quarter, where he creates his works. This change of residence means a change in the way it works in the vision of his work and the desire to return to painting.

“Forbidden Sketchbook” is the last published work by the artist. In it, we can appreciate the sensuality and the desire of the colorless PROHIBITED “book” in its earlier stages. It includes the original projects in which one has the power of images is already evident. Like a charm, it includes projects that challenge with their incredible strength doensn’t appear in previous publications. In his last period, in combination with other works, Luis Royo has spent four years on the development of a more personal work – “THE LABYRINTH:” Tarot. This production of Tarot cards See-no-limit perfectionnism of the artist. This is a package in which each image has been carefully and meticulously studied and shows a titanic level of documentation.

“THE LABYRINTH: TAROT” is the first completely new work by Luis Royo, where no image has already been published. It is published in December 2004 in two formats: an exclusive pack of cards and a book containing all the photos and text explaining, written by the artist himself, explaning the hidden meaning of each card and their power to control destiny of a person. Because he began working as an illustrator, many Heavy Metal bands from different countries (eg Germany, Italy, Spain ,…) adopted the images of Luis Royo, using them for their CD jackets. Between these two works, the most recent was devoted to two CDs of the Austrian group “Avalanch”.

We’ve clearly spoken by one of the most popular worldwide and professional illustrator, whose glory – instead of him ourtun – lead to a permanent process of finding new challenges or proposals, knows colors , textures and find new forms of expression outside the picture itself. He is a worker who untirable fans worldwide, with a magical vision of the imagination of all who surround experience, evolution, and JUSTIFICAT its privileged position on the international market for illustration.

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Francisco Goya: The Father of Modern Art

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Execution of the Defenders of Madrid, 3rd May, 1808, 1814

Francisco Goya, considered to be “the Father of Modern Art,” began his painting career just after the late Baroque period. In expressing his thoughts and feelings frankly, as he did, he became the pioneer of new artistic tendencies which were to come to fruition in the 19th century. Two trends dominated the art of his contradictory; they actually were not. Together they represented the reaction against previous conceptions of art and the desire for a new form of expression.

In order to understand the scope of Goya’s art, and to appreciate the principles which governed his development and tremendous versatility, it is essential to realise that his work extended over a period of more than 60 years, for he continued to draw and paint until his 82nd year.

The importance of this factor is evident between his attitude towards life in his youth, when he accepted the world as it was quite happily, in his manhood when he began to criticise it, and in his old age when he became embittered and disillusioned with people and society. Furthermore, the world changed completely during his lifetime. The society, in which he had achieved a great success disappeared during the Napoleonic war. Long before the end of the 18th century Goya had already turned towards his new ideals and expressed them in his graphic art and in his paintings.

As an artist, Goya was by temperament far removed from the classicals. In a few works he approached Classical style, but in the greater part of his work the Romantic triumphed.

Born in Zaragoza, Spain, he found employment as a young teenager under the mediocre artist José Luzán, from whom he learned to draw and as was customary, copied prints of several masters.

At the age of 17 he went to Madrid. His style was influenced by two painters who were working there. The last of the great Venetian painters—Tiepolo and the rather cold and efficient neo-classical painter—Antonio Raphael Mengs. In 1763 he entered a competition at the Royal Academy of San Fernando, and failed, as he did in the year 1766. In 1770, he want to Rome and survived by living off his works of art.

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Joan Miró and Abstract Artworks

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Joan Miró and Abstract Artworks

Joan Miró i Ferrà (April 20,1893 – December 25,1983) was a world renowned Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramist who was born in the sea port city of Barcelona.

Miro was the son of a watchmaking father and a goldsmith mother, he was exposed to the arts from a very young age. There have been some drwaings recovered by Miro dating to 1901, when he was only 8 years old. Miro enrolled at the School of Industrial and Fine Arts in Barcelona until 1910; during his attendance he was taught by Modest Urgell and Josep Pascó.

After overcoming a serious bout of typhoid fever in 1911, Miro decided to devote his life entirely to painting by attending the school of art taught by Francesc Galí. He studied at La Lonja School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and in 1918 set up his first individual exhibition in the Dalmau Galleries, in the same city. His works before 1920 (the date of his first trip to Paris) reflect the influence of different trends, like the pure and brilliant colors used in Fauvism, shapes taken from cubism, influences from folkloric Catalan art and Roman frescos from the churches.

His trip to Paris introduced him to and developed his trend of surrealist painting. In 1921, he showed his first individual exhibition in Paris, at La Licorne Gallery. In 1928, he exhibited with a group of surrealists in the Pierre Gallery, also in Paris, although Miró was always to maintain his independent qualities with respect to groups and ideologies.

From 1929-1930, Miró began to take interest in the object as such, in the form of collages. This was a practice which was to lead to his making of surrealist sculptures. His tormented monsters appeared during this decade, which gave way to the consolidation of his plastic vocabulary. He also experimented with many other artistic forms, such as engraving, lithography, water colors, pastels, and painting over copper. What is particularly highlighted from this period, are the two ceramic murals which he made for the UNESCO building in Paris (The Wall of the Moon and the Wall of the Sun, 1957-59).

It was at the end of the 60´s when his final period was marked and which lasted until his death. During this time, he concentrated more and more on monumental and public works. He was characterized by the body language and freshness with which he carried out his canvasses, as well as the special attention he paid to material and the stamp he received from informalism. He concentrated his interest on the symbol, not giving too much importance to the representing theme, but to the way the symbol emerged as the piece of work.

In 1976 the Joan Miró Foundation Centre of Contemporary Art Study was officially opened in the city of Barcelona and in 1979, four years before his death, he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Barcelona.

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Art Nouevau: A decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe

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Art Nouevau: A decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe

Art Nouevau is decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World WarI. Art nouveau originated in London and was variously called Jugendstil in Germany, Sezessionstil in Austria, and Modernismo in Spain.

In general it was most successfully practiced in the decorative arts: furniture, jewelry, and book design and illustration. The style was richly ornamental and asymmetrical, characterized by a whiplash linearity reminiscent of twining plant tendrils. Its exponents chose themes fraught with symbolism, frequently of an erotic nature. They imbued their designs with dreamlike and exotic forms.

The outstanding designers of art nouveau in England include the graphic artist Aubrey Beardsley, A. H. Mackmurdo, Charles Ricketts, Walter Crane, and the Scottish architect Charles R. Mackintosh; in Belgium the architects Henry Van de Velde and Victor Horta; in France the architect and designer of the Paris métro entrances, Hector Guimard, and the jewelry designer René Lalique; in Austria the painter Gustav Klimt; in Spain the architect Antonio Gaudí; in Germany the illustrator Otto Eckmann and the architect Peter Behrens; in Italy the originator of the ornamental Floreale style, Giuseppe Sommaruga; and in the United States Louis Sullivan, whose architecture was dressed with art nouveau detail, and the designer of elegant glassware Louis C. Tiffany.

The aesthetics of the movement were disseminated through various illustrated periodicals including The Century Guild Hobby Horse (1894), The Dial (1889), The Studio (begun, 1893), The Yellow Book (1894–95), and The Savoy (1896–98). The works of Beardsley and Tiffany were especially popular.

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Cubism: An intellectual revolt against the artistic expression of previous eras

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Cubism: An intellectual revolt against the artistic expression of previous eras

Cubist Theory

Cubism began as an intellectual revolt against the artistic expression of previous eras. Among the specific elements abandoned by the cubists were the sensual appeal of paint texture and color, subject matter with emotional charge or mood, the play of light on form, movement, atmosphere, and the illusionism that proceeded from scientifically based perspective. To replace these they employed an analytic system in which the three-dimensional subject (usually still life) was fragmented and redefined within a shallow plane or within several interlocking and often transparent planes.

Analytic and Synthetic Cubism

In the analytic phase (1907–12) the cubist palette was severely limited, largely to black, browns, grays, and off-whites. In addition, forms were rigidly geometric and compositions subtle and intricate. Cubist abstraction as represented by the analytic works of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris intended an appeal to the intellect. The cubists sought to show everyday objects as the mind, not the eye, perceives them—from all sides at once. The trompe l’oeil element of collage was also sometimes used.

During the later, synthetic phase of cubism (1913 through the 1920s), paintings were composed of fewer and simpler forms based to a lesser extent on natural objects. Brighter colors were employed to a generally more decorative effect, and many artists continued to use collage in their compositions. The works of Picasso, Braque, and Gris are also representative of this phase.

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Tribute to Carmen Opera

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Tribute to Carmen Opera

Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences.

Bizet died suddenly after the 33rd performance, unaware that the work would achieve international acclaim within the following ten years. Carmen has since become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the classical canon; the “Habanera” from act 1 and the “Toreador Song” from act 2 are among the best known of all operatic arias.

The opera is written in the genre of opéra comique with musical numbers separated by dialogue. It is set in southern Spain and tells the story of the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who is seduced by the wiles of the fiery gypsy Carmen. José abandons his childhood sweetheart and deserts from his military duties, yet loses Carmen’s love to the glamorous toreador Escamillo, after which José kills her in a jealous rage. The depictions of proletarian life, immorality, and lawlessness, and the tragic death of the main character on stage, broke new ground in French opera and were highly controversial.

After the premiere, most reviews were critical, and the French public was generally indifferent. Carmen initially gained its reputation through a series of productions outside France, and was not revived in Paris until 1883; thereafter it rapidly acquired popularity at home and abroad. Later commentators have asserted that Carmen forms the bridge between the tradition of opéra comique and the realism or verismo that characterised late 19th-century Italian opera.

The music of Carmen has since been widely acclaimed for brilliance of melody, harmony, atmosphere, and orchestration, and for the skill with which Bizet musically represented the emotions and suffering of his characters. After the composer’s death, the score was subject to significant amendment, including the introduction of recitative in place of the original dialogue; there is no standard edition of the opera, and different views exist as to what versions best express Bizet’s intentions. The opera has been recorded many times since the first acoustical recording in 1908, and the story has been the subject of many screen and stage adaptations.

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Nude Maja by Francisco de Goya

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Nude Maja by Francisco de Goya

An image of Venus in the nude, lying on a green velvet divan with pillows and a spread. Legend would have it that this was the Duchess of Alba, but the sitter has also been identified as Pepita Tudó, who became Godoy’s mistress in 1797.

It is listed for the first time in 1800 as hanging over a door in Manuel Godoy’s palace, but without its companion, The Clothed Maja (P741). In 1808 it is mentioned again, along with The Clothed Maja (P741), in the inventory which Frédéric Quillet, José Bonaparte’s agent, made of the property of Manuel Godoy, who may have commissioned it. Then, in 1813, the two ladies are described as Gypsies in the inventory of Godoy’s property confiscated by King Fernando VII.

This work entered the Prado Museum in 1901 by way of the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, where it had been from 1808 to 1813, and again from 1836 to 1901. In the hiatus between those two periods, it was sequestered by the Inquisition.

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Three Women at the Spring by Pablo Picasso

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Three Women at the Spring by Pablo Picasso

This wonderful picture’s primitive, early Mediterranean feel is another vibrant example of Picasso’s monumental neo-Classical figures. The three women emerge from the rocky scene like gigantic sculptures in relief, their strong chiselled profiles and exaggerated statuesque contours reminiscent of late or provincial Hellenistic styles, from the time of Alexander the Great’s successors. The massive work is 204 x 174 cm (7 x 5.5 ft) in size, and its perspective draws the viewer’s eye up to these huge shapes.

The strange rotundity of the bodies is not only juxtaposed by the heavily hewed faces but by the deep gouged-in lines to denote the folds of the dresses. The accentuated width of these folds and the dramatic use of colour to create them – silvery in quality, against the bright blue -add to this sense of heightened relief, contrasting with the browny ochre backdrop of the rocks.

This use of folding to create motion and define shape is similar to techniques Picasso used in earlier pictures from the Blue Period, such as Mother and Child (Maternity) (1901). Here, instead of creating a rhythm to counteract the strong perpendicular lines of the chair, the folds act in reverse, creating a heavy, angular tension.

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The Lesson by Pablo Picasso

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The Lesson by Pablo Picasso

Figurative Art, fine art posters, Pablo Picasso, pablo picasso posters, picasso posters, Spanish Art, the lesson art print

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Pablo Picasso: The Formative Years

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Woman with a Blue Hat by Pablo Picasso

Max Jacob said that Picasso and his friends were determined to make ‘beaucoup de pastiches volontaires pour être sûr de n’en pas faire d’involontaires’. Yet pastiche is hardly the word for the imaginative transformations which are illustrated. Whereas the young Degas, Manet or Van Gogh often copied literally works which they admired, Picasso after his early youth more frequently used other pictures as starting points for the creation of something very different.

There was an element of personal daring and perhaps of Andalusian panache in this independence of the model. An old friend of Picasso, remembers him coming into ‘Els Quatre Gats’ in 1901 and setting down on one side a copy he had just made in Madrid from part of ‘ Las Meninas’ and on the other his own ‘Dancer’, saying, ‘ Velasquez did that, Picasso did that’. Even earlier he was resolved not to be the slave of any one master, and wrote to a friend from Madrid in 1897, ‘I am against following a determined school as it brings out nothing but the mannerism of those who follow this way’.

Picasso’s constant traffic with other artists’ styles was partly the normal method of a young painter teaching himself his trade, carried to abnormal lengths by his tremendous power of imitation — he was able to use, transform or mock the idiom of others with a skill that reminds one of James Joyce (and since he could imitate everybody it was tempting to do so). But he was also interested in the different languages of art for their own sake, just as many early twentieth century writers had the habit of juggling with a variety of older styles.

Obvious examples of this tendency in literature were Picasso’s friend Max Jacob, whose poetry was full of parodies and reminiscences, or du Plessys, a follower of Moréas, who could write at will in the style of the Song of Roland, Villon, Jehan de Meung and others. A little earlier, Laforgue Complainte de Lord Pierrot begins with an ironic parody of Au clair de la lune, and later Joyce, Pound and Eliot were to make similar parodies.

All this seems very far from the nineteenth century and from Cézanne’s ‘We must give the image of what we see, forgetting everything that has appeared before our time’, for Picasso was a highly conceptual painter, more often excited by ideas or by the works of other artists than by that direct, prolonged and intense contact with the object that inspired Cézanne. His friends Mir and Raynal both confirm this, and the latter wrote, ‘ Picasso looked for the essence of things in other works of art, and he realised that in order to distil this essence himself, the most advanced starting point was not reality and nature but the work of other artists.

This is one reason for studying his early friendships and milieu in some detail. Other reasons are the great historical importance of ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’, the strange, disquieting and experimental picture to which the work of all these years leads up, and the fact that Picasso, who was popular and had his choice of companions, chose to live in Paris amongst poets who were nearly all men distinguished or interesting in their own right. The ‘Modernists’ of Barcelona as well as Max Jacob, André Salmon and Guillaume Apollinaire were all lively and original characters who had a considerable impact upon Picasso’s development.

But to turn for inspiration from nature to the work of other artists was only in part a matter of temperament. The fact that it rarely occurred to Picasso in these years to paint realistically in the nineteenth-century sense of the word, although his earliest works had shown that he was capable of doing so, is of course connected with the literary, philosophical and artistic reaction against the Naturalists, who well before the turn of the century were considered stodgy and vieux jeu both in Paris and among the ‘Modernists’ of Barcelona. Courbet’s conviction that ‘Le beau donné par la nature est supérieur à toutes les conventions de l’artiste’ was rejected, in part because it was based on the discredited doctrine of Positivism; and Schopenhauer’s works, well-known in Barcelona, helped to popularise the idea that nature is only an appearance.

Maurice Denis, who was influential in the club of San Luc in Barcelona, and probably had some effect on the simplified rhythm and the sentiment of Picasso’s ‘Maternités’, wrote that ‘l’art, au lieu d’être la copie, devient la déformation subjective de la nature’. Denis was also highly indignant against the master who criticised his idealised nude study by saying ‘Vous ne coucheriez pas avec cette femme-là’. Some of the mediaevalists in Barcelona felt so strongly against satirical naturalism that they tore up the French comic paper Gil Blas.

Picasso’s choice of books showed a similar anti-realist taste. Raynal, writing probably of about 1905, said that Picasso owned the works of Rimbaud, Verlaine and Mallarmé, but no naturalist or psychological novels, which he detested. Mallarmé and Rimbaud both frequently declared that the true subject of art was the idea, the general, and not life’s particularity. This incidentally fitted in, or was made to fit in, with Gauguin’s synthesism and his linear simplifications.

Completely alien both to these writers and to Picasso was that affection for the unique, fleeting and particularised aspects of nature which made Constable date his cloud studies, adding the exact time of day and the direction of wind, or Duranty’s belief that in rendering a man’s back view one should show his age, temperament and social status. Picasso’s preference for more timeless and generalised subjects may be partly responsible for the choice of such ritual figures as mother and child, harlequin or clown. We know also that Picasso liked the works of the Catalan poet Juan Maragall which were published in 1906 just before the artist went to Gosol when he translated one into French. Like many Catalans of the time Maragall was more interested in German literature than in naturalism and he translated Novalis The Blue Flower into Catalan.

In turning away from the naturalism of his predecessors Picasso was also reacting against the practice of his own father. Apparently he told Sabartés that the latter painted ‘dining-room pictures’. ‘Fur and feathers, pigeons and lilac, together with an occasional landscape completed his repertoire. He was happiest when he could make his feathered models symbolic of moral or sentimental drama, as in his painting of a happy couple perched on the threshold of their pigeon-house, while a third party, ruffled with jealousy, spies on them from below.’ Naturally, the father could not at first reconcile himself to his son’s novelties. The painter Bernareggi declares that when he and Picasso were studying together in Madrid in 1897, they would send home their copies to Picasso’s father. If these were of Velasquez, Goya or the Venetians all was well, but when they sent copies of El Greco he replied severely, ‘You are following the bad way’.

Anti-realism was only one of many characteristics that fin-de-sièle, ‘decadent’ or symbolist movements had in common, but the atmosphere differed from country to country. Barcelona with its particular brand of modernism was important to Picasso’s development long after he first visited Paris at the end of 1900; for it must be remembered that Picasso crossed the Pyrenees seven times before he settled in Paris in April 1904.

In Paris he lived at first almost entirely amongst Spaniards from Barcelona and could not speak French. Even in the Rue Ravignan from 1904 onwards his old friends constantly visited him. Gertrude Stein and others have rightly perceived the Spanish basis of the Blue Period, even though this began in Paris shortly before his departure for Barcelona in December 1901 and owed something to Gauguin, Maurice Denis, Carrière and Van Gogh. His friend Nonell’s drawings are probably the forerunners of many of the crouching, outcast figures painted in the years 1902-4.

The Nietzschean writer and dramatist Jaime Brossa compared the artistic climate of Barcelona to hearing, in a fin-de-siècle café, a Ballade of Chopin and the ‘Marseillaise’ being played at the same time. This exciting ferment of literary and political insurgence must have had some effect on the parallel if unconnected extravagances of Gaudi and Picasso. ( Picasso, it may be said in parentheses, admired Gaudi as a curiosity but never met him; the architect was thirty years senior, a bigoted Catholic and member of the rival club of San Luc, disapproving strongly of the atheist, anarchist and Bohemian ‘Els Quatre Gats’.)

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