Thursday, 26 July 2012

Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta and Portrait of Countess Mathieu de Noailles

'Portrait of Countess Mathieu de Noailles' (1913) by Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta;
Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao
Another Spanish painter for today, Ignacio Zuloaga, born on 26 July 1870, as the son of a goldsmith and metal worker. He was sent to Rome to study architecture but became interested in painting. He continued his studies in Paris where he lived on friendly terms with Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin. He came under the influence of Impressionism and the group of Catalan painters around Santiago Rusiñol. When he returned to his native country and visited Andalucía in 1892, his passion was aroused for Spanish gypsies and bullfights. It was in Spain that he discovered his true style influenced by the tradition of Goya and Velázquez. Today's painting reminds me a bit of Goya's 'The Clothed Maja', although I think this woman looks more sensual than Maja. What do you think?

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