“Non Finito”. Fortuny and the paradox of the perfectionist /2

Francesc Quílez The Battle of Tetouan, an excessively uncomfortable commission The Battle of Tetouan remained abandoned, half-finished, and became one of the most emblematic images in the studio that Fortuny had turned into a house-museum in the city of Rome in order to house his collection. The object occupied, as a decorative frieze, a preferential…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

“Non Finito”. Fortuny and the paradox of the perfectionist /1

Francesc Quílez The fact that such a brilliant, decisive and efficient artist, as Marià Fortuny was (1838-1874), remains contradictory, due to his known facility to achieve fast and excellent results in any discipline; from time to time he would show an unexpected weakness that led him to a state of creative melancholy and he was…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

Scenes of creation: artists’ workshops /2

Francesc Quílez The artist’s workshop: a multi-faceted space Ending this digression and getting back to the connecting thread of my discourse, I wish to demonstrate how this phenomenon of versatility allows me to make different approaches, and to take a very detailed look at the various facets presented by the motif to which I am…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

Scenes of creation: artists’ workshops / 1

Francesc Quílez In the course of the nineteenth century, the traditional artist’s workplace was transformed into an interesting motif for the artistic practice of the period, acquiring a scenographic dimension that had hitherto been unexplored. The depiction of the workshop had in fact already been featured in some of the most outstanding creative episodes in…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

Fortuny’s Carmen Bastián: problems with its reception and interpretation

Fortuny’s Carmen Bastián

Francesc Quílez Only on very few occasions during his career as an artist did Fortuny develop the theme of the female nude. It is a genre towards which his attitude was always preventive and for which he felt no special predilection, except for two highly iconic productions that over time have become two of his…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

Art in times of uncertainty: some thoughts

Marinus van Reymerswaele, San Jerónimo en su celda, 1535. Real Acdemia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

Francesc Quílez In a time of worry, such as we are currently experiencing, in which we are overcome with anxiety and on the horizon we see only the image of uncertainty and despair, humanity seeks answers, remedies to help it bear this heavy burden that weighs us down, limits us and prevents us from going…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

Marià Fortuny: painting as the representation of a worldview

Francesc Quílez This last year, those of us who love the work of the painter Marià Fortuny have been very fortunate. Two temporary exhibitions have given us the chance to contemplate the talent of one of the finest nineteenth-century European painters. Since November 2016, the show A Time for Daydreaming. Andalusia in Fortuny’s Imagery has…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

Ramon Casas and the Chinese Shadow Puppets. Bohemia and the popular imaginary

Francesc Quílez Ramon Casas is a paradigmatic example of the modern artist in any literal sense of the term. Critics and historians have pointed him out as a great painter and the creator of some of the most emblematic and iconic works in the history of Catalan art. With his nonconformist attitude, Ramon Casas managed…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

How a watercolour makes it possible to date a photograph and the photo makes it possible to put a face to the painter’s name

Paris, circa 1889 A painter, who we cannot identify, poses seated before the camera lens of a photographer, whose identity we do not know either. The artist has a proud air about him, satisfied with the work he has just done and whose results he is showing in public. The roomy bright surroundings in which…

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Author: Francesc Quílez

The role of the cat in the modern poster. A popular art

At the end of the 19th century, the publicity poster reached a renowned level of popularity, becoming one of the main emblems of the modern society. The major commercial brands supported the development of posters, aware of the possibilities that, for the diffusion of the advertising message, they offered a very attractive visual resource. The…

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Author: Francesc Quílez