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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Genius of Ramon Casas

Open Air Interior, 1892



Born on January 4, 1866 in Barcelona, Ramon Casas i Carbó was a Spanish portrait painter and graphic designer. He was a contemporary of Santiago Rusiñol, both founders of the Spanish art movement modernisme. Where Santiago painted pensive interiors and moody landscapes, Casas focused more on the portrait and figure with a penchant for costume and posture. His palette often consists of more muted tones with vibrant color accents. Casas enjoyed a lengthy and prominent career throughout Europe and South America where he often exhibited in shows with his friend Rusiñol.

In Open Air Interior above, Casas encapsulates a quiet moment outdoors during tea time. I love these kind of paintings for their calm visual intensity. The way that man sits in his chair, lost in thought while his wife carefully stirs her tea...this is the kind of mindfulness in the subjects that makes us, the viewer, envision ourselves in this scene. Casas paints the far wall of the house in cool…

Santiago Rusiñol, the Catalonian Master

Aranjuez Garden. Arbor, II, 1907

Born on 25th of February, 1861 in Barcelona, Santiago Rusiñol was a Spanish painter and poet. A master of color harmony with a fondness for lush greenery and thoughtful observation of figures, Rusiñol is like one of those fine wines you wish you had discovered sooner. He is unique in how he seems to effortlessly oscillate between Realism and Impressionism without missing a beat, and yet what ties his work together is his supreme understanding of mood and presence. Having trained under Tomás Moragas, Rusiñol evolved into his modernisme movement and leaving a deep impression on Pablo Picasso, among others.


In the garden of Aranjuez Garden Arbor, II above, Rusiñol's very warm earth palette is enthralling. Although loosely painted in the foliage and trees we can instantly sense the verdant beauty of this wonderful park south of Madrid, still enjoyed today by Spaniards and tourists. The yellow and red trees off to the left appear as if on fire, burning …