"Tertulia" and "Adam and Eve" - The new figurative style

During the 1920s, the height of fashion for the modern woman was to dress in an androgynous style, with pleated trousers, long pearl necklaces and garçon-style haircuts. Meanwhile, in the art world, artists like José de Togores, whose 1922 work “Couple at the Beach” can be seen in this room, showed strapping female bodies with generous curves, abandoning themselves not just to sensuality, but to the freedom of one naked body touching another.

The painter Angeles Santos, who lived to a very ripe old age, and who painted the large Surrealist-inspired canvas “A World”, which takes up one wall of this room, shows us in another of her pictures here the socially disinhibited nature of women. According to the values of certain sectors of Spanish society at the time, this was considered most inappropriate. The picture, “Tertulia”, dating from 1929, was painted in a style that was part “New Objectivity” movement from Germany. Smoking, reading, writing and intellectual independence were all practices that chellenged the roles traditionally set out for women.

Not far from Dali’s famous picture “Girl with her Back Turned”, you can also see “Adam and Eve”, which shows a man and a woman, both barefoot, lying in a meadow. The date is 1932 and it is an early work by Rosario Velasco, an artist whose work was associated to Catalan “Noucentisme”. One can see her taste for a clean finish on shapes and outlines, and her figurative style, which is half- way between the conventional academic tradition and a more avant-garde approach.

Rosario de Velasco would later attempt more daring and experimental forms, as well as traditional techniques such as encaustic, in which waxes are used to agglutinate pigments. As was the case with Angeles Santos, Velasco’s artistic output diminished noticeably during the Franco dictatorship.

(c) (R) 2012, MUSMon com S.L.