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Ignacio Zuloaga

[thoo-law-ah-gah, soo-]
Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta (July 26, 1870 - October 31, 1945) was a Spanish Basque painter, born in Eibar, in the Basque country, near the monastery of Loyola. He was the son of metalworker and damascener Plácido Zuloaga and grandson of the organizer and director of the royal armoury in Madrid.

Biography

In his youth, he drew and worked in his father's workshop. He was educated by the Jesuits in France. His father wanted him to be an architect, and with this objective in mind, he was sent to Rome, where he immediately followed the strong impulse that led him to painting. After only six months' work he completed his first picture, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890. Continuing his studies in Paris, where he lived for five years, he was strongly influenced by Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Only upon returning to his native land did he find his true style, which is based on the national Spanish tradition embodied in the work of Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, El Greco, and Francisco Goya.

His own country was slow in acknowledging the young artist whose strong, decorative and rugged style stood in opposition to the styles of well-known modern Spanish artists such as Fortuny, Madrazo, and Benlliure. It was first in Paris, and then Brussels and other European art centres, that Zuloaga was hailed by the reformers as the regenerator of Spanish national art and as the leader of a school. He is now represented in galleries across Europe.

Work

Two of his canvases are at the Luxembourg, one at the Brussels Museum (Avant la Corrida), and one (The Poet Don Miguel) at the Vienna Gallery. The Pau Museum owns an interesting portrait of a lady; the Barcelona Municipal Museum, the important group Amies; the Venice Gallery, Madame Louise; and the Berlin Gallery, The Topers. Other examples are in the Budapest, Stuttgart, Ghent, Poznań, and New York City galleries and in many important private collections.

Ignacio Zuloaga's work is known for his depictions of traditional Spanish characters, including peasants, Gypsies, and bullfighters.

Chronology

1887

  • Presents A Priest Praying in an Old Room (Un Sacerdote Rezando en una Habitación Antigua) at the Exposición Nacional de Madrid
  • At the Prado Museum, copies the works of Velázquez, who he would consider his teacher, together with Zurbarán, Ribera and Goya

1888

  • Paints Fountain of Eibar (Fuente de Eibar) and The Blind Man of Arrate (El Ciego de Arrate)

1889

  • Journeys to Rome, a dream of many young artists, where he stays more than a year, absorbing the masters of the Renaissance
  • Paints The Wounded Forger (El Forjador Herido)

1890

1891–1895

1891

  • Exposition at Le Barc de Bouteville with the Gauguin group, where he introduces two landscape works
  • Travels to Bilbao where he is founder of the festive society, The Desk (El Escritorio), furnishing one of its walls with the canvas titled Dawn (Amanecer)

1892

1893

  • Makes studies in the streets of Seville during its annual traditional Feria market fair
  • Attends the Salon des Indépendants, with six paintings
  • Discovers the work of Whistler
  • Consolidates his friendship with the French literati, even though he was averse to their symbolist and impressionist influences

1894

  • Introduces two paintings at the Paris Salon for the first time: Portrait of the Painter's Grandmother (Retrato de la Abuela del Pintor) and Don Pedro the Dwarf (El Enano Don Pedro)
  • Buys two more works by El Greco with Rusiñol in Paris and travels through Switzerland and Italy
  • Begins painting his casino frescos in the Vizcayan town of Bermeo
  • Passes the fall in Seville

1895

  • Shows six paintings for the second exhibition at Le Barc de Bouteville
  • Shares a studio with Paco Durrio and Gauguin
  • Creates a portrait of Valentine Dethomas
  • Finishes his casino frescoes

1895–1998

  • Resides principally in Andalusia.

1896

  • Sends a painting to the Exhibition of Barcelona, and is awarded a second-prize medal for Friends (Amigos)
  • Maintains a fondness for bullfighting

1897

  • Attends the Exposición Nacional de Madrid and though living in Andalusia, travels much through Spain
  • Devotion to the bulls extends to taking them on in bullring of Manuel Carmona in Seville

1898

  • Exhibits at the Societé Nationale de Paris
  • Shows his Vespers Before the Bullfight (Víspera de la Corrida), winning first prize in Barcelona
  • Discovers Segovia, where he paints, among other works, My Uncle and my Cousins (Mi Tio y mis Primas), a work which would be acquired by the state of France for placement at the Luxembourg Museum

1899

  • On May 18, marries Valentine Dethomas, sister of his friend, the painter Maxime
  • Carrière and Albéniz attend the wedding
  • Makes a celebratory trip through Europe and returns to Spain, installing himself in the province of Guipúzcoa, at Elgueta
  • Paints Mrs. Mercedes the Dwarf (La Enana Doña Mercedes) and the Belgian state buys The Mayor of Riomoros (El Alcalde de Riomoros)

1900

  • In Segovia, makes studies at the House of Crime (Casa del Crimen), the popular Spanish name given to the Palace of Ayala Berganza (Palacio de Ayala Berganza), and also in the neighborhood of La Canonjia
  • On the occasion of the Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) in Paris, sells Víspera de la Corrida
  • This work was rejected by the Spanish juror choosing the works to be shown but then bought by the Belgian state
  • Has exhibitions in Brussels, Berlín, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Bilbao

1901

  • Travels during holy week, together with his wife and in-laws, to Seville, and then to France
  • After a stay in Segovia, paints in the valley of Ansó
  • Receives the great golden medal in Dresden, with Anglada Camarasa and Iturrino also present
  • Initiates a friendship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke

1902

  • Returns to paint Seville
  • Named member of the École des Beaux-Arts
  • Mother, Lucía Zamora Zabaleta, passes away in Éibar
  • Daughter Lucia is born shortly after, on May 15
  • Spends long periods in Segovia painting together with his friend Pablo Uranga
  • Continued showings in diverse European cities: París, Bordeaux, Munich, Budapest and Berlín

1903

  • Participates in the National Exposition of Paris once more
  • Critics such as Alexandre and Lafónd celebrate him in the press and an edition of The Illustrated Figaro (Le Figaro Illustré) is dedicated completely to the painter
  • Initiates his relationship with the sculptor Auguste Rodin
  • Returns to Spain
  • Detained for passing false currency while on vacation in Salamanca

1904

  • Completes the paintings of Our Lady of Arrate (Nuestra Señora de Arrate)
  • Is joined in Segovia by his friend Cottet, who will create four works, followed by others Ignacio drew to work there
  • Abandoned Gentlemen's Church of San Juan (San Juan de los Caballeros) purchased by Daniel Zuloaga to house the workshop and studio of his uncle and cousin
  • Exhibits in Düsseldorf by invitation of Rodin attain great success

1905

  • Exhibits in París, Prague, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Liège, Venice, Dresden and Vienna
  • Appointed in Berlin with setting the stage for the opera Carmen
  • Collaborates in Brussels on mounting the opera Pepita Jiménez, whose author is his friend Isaac Albéniz
  • Travels through Spain with Rodin and the Russian collector Tchoukin

1906

  • Sets up a new studio in Paris at rue Caillaincourt, 54
  • Son Antonio is born on January 10
  • Continues working in his studio at San Juan de los Caballeros which would culminate in eleven paintings to show in Paris, among them: Bullfighters of Town (Toreros de Pueblo) and Celestina

1907

  • Exhibits at the Fifth International Exposition of Barcelona, in which a hall is dedicated to him, and wins the prize of the king and the diploma of honor, with Maxime Dethomas and Rodin present
  • Begins looking around the Spanish province of Guipúzcoa for properties on which to build a residence, studio and museum
  • Finishes fourteen paintings in Segovia, among them: The Witches of San Millán (Las Brujas de San Millán) and Gregory the Dwarf Bootmaker (El Enano Gregorio el Botero)

1908

  • Exhibits at the Beaux Arts Salón in Paris with great success
  • In Eibar, shows his countrymen Gregorio el Botero, holding audience with the king
  • In Segovia, paints The Flagellants (Los Flagelantes) and Gregory in Sepulveda (Gregorio en Sepúlveda)

1909

  • Exhibits a total of thirty-eight works in the United States (New York, Buffalo and Boston), fifteen of which have Segovian themes
  • Dedicates himself to the study of landscapes, which occupies much of his productive time
  • Continuing his fascination with bulls, visits Seville and Lora del Rio, a bull-calf corral on the Zabariche estate of the cattle rancher Urcola
  • In October, Charles Morice pens monograph on him published in the magazine Art and Artists (L'Art et les Artistes)

1910

  • Showings in Mexico, Chile and Buenos Aires, where he receives communication on the passing of his father, even as events provoke confusion over his name and give rise to quick trade in his paintings
  • Presents works at the Venice Biennial
  • Acquires properties in the Guipúzcoan town of Zumaya to build, over time, the residence he would call Santiago Etxea
  • After his love of custom, temple of San Juan de los Caballeros prepared to receive holy sacrament, as by one remaining observant of traditional worship, with liturgical articles brought from Eibar for decoration
  • Paints Victim of the Feast (Victima de la Fiesta) and The Family of my Uncle Daniel (La familia de mi Tio Daniel)

1911

  • International Exposition of Rome

*Not invited by the group representing Spain
*Attends on his own account, in fact, paradoxically at the beckoning of the Italian government
*Fourteen of twenty-five works displayed are from Segovia
*Awarded the great prize

  • Travels through Italy

1912

  • paid homage in Eibar by his countrymen
  • In Paris, Leónce Bénédite dedicates special article in Art and the Beautiful (L'Art et le Beau)
  • Exhibits in Vienna, Dresden, Budapest, Munich and Amsterdam
  • The Cardinal (El Cardenal) is most distinguished work from his Segovian estate

1913

  • Attends a homage to Goya, in the master's hometown of Fuendetodos, in the province of Saragossa, unveiling a commemorative stone slab at the house of his birth
  • Depicts the subjects of Future Idols (Ídolos Futuros) or Young Bullfighters of Turegano (Torerillos de Turégano), as if they were Spanish courtesans
  • Awaited by Manuel de Falla in Paris who he had offered to design costumes and staging for The Short Life (La Vida Breve)
  • Fertile collaboration begins between the two

1914

  • Goes to the Paris Salon for the last time
  • Purchases the house of Goya in Fuendetodos
  • Inaugurates his home at Santiago Etxea on July 14
  • Passing of Darío de Regoyos
  • Paints My Candid Cousin (Mi Prima Cándida) and Ballerina Dressed as Bullfighter (Bailarina Vestida de Torero)
  • Exhibits in New York and Brussels

1915

  • Finds political sympathy, after a manifesto, with partisans of World War I allied powers
  • Delicate state of industry in Eibar leads him to donate a portrait of Cándida so that the price of its sale might unburden families in need

1916–1917

  • Exhibits in the United States, sending thirty-four paintings to New York, of which twenty are from Segovia
  • Converts Santiago Etxea into an attraction for his Spanish and foreign friends
  • Completes sketches for the opera Goyescas, composed by Enrique Granados
  • Presented by President Poincaré, for the many merits favoring France, with the Legion of Honor
  • Juan de la Encina (pseudonym of Ricardo Gutiérrez Abascal) publishes study on Zuloaga

1918–1919

  • Called to complete a portrait of Alfonso XIII
  • Travels with Gregorio Marañón to Las Hurdes and the Sierra de Gredos
  • The Duchess of Noailles (La Duquesa de Noailles) bought by financier Señor Sota in Bilbao, and later sold to Museo de la Villa
  • Inaugural performance of the opera Goyescas in Paris

1920

  • Installs his workshop in the Madrid neighborhood of Las Vistillas
  • Completes a portrait of his friend Ortega y Gasset
  • Unveils his monument to Goya In Fuendetodos
  • Exhibits at the Royal Academy in London
  • Studies the performance of a work based on the highly-regarded novel, The Glory of Mr. Ramiro (La Gloria de Don Ramiro), together with Enrique Larreta and Manuel de Falla

1921

1922

1925

  • Exhibitions in New York, at the Reinhardt Gallery, where fifteen of fifty-two works were from Segovia, meet with great success
  • Received by President Coolidge
  • Shows in Boston and Palm Beach, culminating his tour in Havana, where he is glorified upon arrival
  • Buys the castle of Pedraza

1926

  • Great exhibit of Zuloaga innaugurates the new Circle of Fine Arts (Círculo de Bellas Artes) in Madrid
  • His work becomes controversial with young artists oriented toward emerging vanguard of the day

1928

  • Vizcayan guesthouse of Segovia serves him as a motif to guide stagework for the opera of Manuel de Falla, Master Peter's Puppet Show (El retablo de Maese Pedro), taken as related by Cervantes in character of Don Quijote
  • In medium of carton and plaster, painted various colors by himself, completes a figure of Sancho and another of Quijote

1931

  • Named president of the Patronage of the Museum of Modern Art in Madrid
  • Makes portraits of Ramón del Valle-Inclán and Ramón Pérez de Ayala
  • Invited to visit by the ambassador of the United States in Italy and paints The Italian Woman (La Italiana)

1936

  • Completes a portrait of the sculptor Julio Behovide
  • Disruption of the Spanish Civil War forces the painters life into relative seclusion, which opens a path into the world of sculpture

1938

  • Grand prize at the Venice Biennial adds to recognition of his work
  • London Exposition dedicates a showing room to him

1941

  • Individual exhibit at the Madrid Museum of Modern Art

1942

  • Grand solo exhibition in Barcelona at the Argos Gallery is the last which celebrates his life

1945

  • Named a favorite son of Guipúzcoa after twenty years of repeated petitions and efforts by the Vascongada Society of Friends of the Country of Spain
  • Paints wives of presidents as well as portraits of his friends
  • Dedicates his creativity to still lifes
  • Dies in his studio in Madrid

Sources

References

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