Santiago Rusiñol y Prats (Spanish, 1861-1931)
Santiago Rusiñol y Prats (Spanish, 1861-1931)

El Poblet, Biniaraix, Majorca

Santiago Rusiñol y Prats (Spanish, 1861-1931)
El Poblet, Biniaraix, Majorca
signed 'S. Rusiñol' (lower left)
oil on canvas
40 ¾ x 50 3/8 in. (103.5 x 128.5 cm.)
Painted in 1902.
Private collection, Argentina.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1984.
'Notícias de las Islas. Sóller', La Almudaina (Palma), no. 6414, 11 December 1902, p. 1.
'Crónica local', Sóller, no. 819, 13 December 1902, p. 3.
J. Pujol y Brull, 'Arts Gráficas', Joventut, IV, 5 February 1903, p. 97.
F. Casanovas, 'Bellas Artes. Salón Parés', La Publicidad, no. 2578, 5 February 1903, p. 1.
B. Bassegoda, 'Salón Parés. Exposición de Santiago Rusiñol', Diario de Barcelona, 6 February 1903, p. 1.
A. Opisso, 'Exposición Rusiñol', La Vanguardia, no. 8424, 7 February 1903, p. 4.
R. Suriñach Sentíes, “A Ca’n Parés. Exposició d’obras d’En Santiago Rusiñol”, El Eco de Sitges, no. 876, 8 February 1903, p. 2.
A. Arsène , 'Les Salons de 1904. La Société nationale des Beaux-Arts', Le Figaro, no. 107, 16 April 1904, p. 4.
L. Bello, 'Desde París', Madrid, 20 April 1904.
V. Pica, 'Artisti contemporanei: Santiago Rusiñol', Emporium, vol. XXI, March 1905, no. 123, p. 181 (illustrated), as: Strada di villaggio.
Forma, II, 1907, p. 63 (illustrated), as.: Crepúsculo.
J. de C. Laplana, Santiago Rusiñol, el pintor, l’home, Barcelona, 1995, no. 15.7.6, p. 584.
J. de C. Laplana – M. Palau-Ribes O’Callaghan, La pintura de Santiago Rusiñol. Obra completa, Barcelona, 2004, vol. III, p. 152, no. 15.8.4 (illustrated).

Sóller (Majorca), Sociedad “La Unión”, December 1902.
Barcelona, Salón Parés, 1903, no. 29, as: El Poblet (Biniaraix).
Paris, Salon, 1904, no. 1110, as: Vallée de Soller, le soir.

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Lot Essay

Rusiñol's poetic artistic language has its roots in the time he spent in Paris in the early 1890s, and his association with the Brussels-based avant-garde group of artists known as Les XX in the 1890s, whose founder members included Fernand Khnopff and James Ensor. The group gradually became a focus point for symbolist and modernist artists, poets and writers, including James McNeill Whistler, whose influence on the Spanish artist was particularly notable.
On his return to Spain, Rusiñol developed a unique strand of modernism which he translated into poetic paintings of landscapes and gardens, rendered in heightened, vibrant tones; these he modulated to create paintings whose language varied from the symbolist to more naturalist works, such as the present lot, which convey the atmosphere and landscape of Majorca.

The present lot, typically mysterious and evocative, was painted between October and November 1902, during Rusiñol’s long stay in Majorca. The painting presents the typical compositional structure which characterizes most of the works by the artist: the sense of symmetry is rendered here by the mountains on the left hand side and the rich trees at the culmination of the path on the right. The composition is balanced by the diagonal sweep of the walled path in the foreground. The path leads to an unseen world beyond and provides a sense of depth. The beautiful orange trees filling the plane and the wide range of greens used by the painter in this canvas are emphasized by the sunset glow. Rusiñol used colours that were extraordinarily resonant and abstract his compositions from any sense of human presence. The only sign of life is represented here by the smoke coming out from the chimneys in the Majorcan village of Biniaraix in the Sóller Valley, on the left hand side of the painting. Rusiñol’s paintings can be understood as the culmination of a quasi-symbolist artistic vision.

This canvas was among the 30 works, mainly landscapes, produced in the Balearic island and exhibited in 1903 at the Salón Parés in a memorable solo exhibition.

We are grateful to Mercedes Paul-Ribes O’Callaghan for confirming the authenticity of the present lot and for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.

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