- Josep Tapiró Baró
- The Young Recruits
- signed and inscribed J Tapiró / Tanger lower right
- watercolour and gouache
- 49.5 by 70cm., 19½ by 27½in.
Private collection, Europe; (sale: Sotheby's, London, 30 May 2008, lot 82)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Reus, Casa Tapiró, 1885
London, Myer & Son Gallery, 1885
Barcelona, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Josep Tapiró. Painter of Tangier, 2014, illustrated in the catalogue (as Planter militar)
'Señor Tapiró's Drawings', in The Times, London, 6 June 1885, p. 6, discussed
La Ilustración Artistica, Año VI, no. 267, Barcelona, 7 November 1887, p. 42, illustrated
Depicting a group of young boys playing city guards on the ramparts of the city fortifications built around the Medina of Tangiers by Pasha Er Riffi, The Young Recruits
displays Tapiró's love of detailed, ethnographic observation, as well as his technical accomplishment in his chosen medium. Tapiró's work has often be compared to that of his contemporary and close friend, Mariano Fortuny. Fortuny and Tapiró studied together at the schools of fine art of Reus and Barcelona, and Tapiró even received a bravery medal for having saved Fortuny from drowning. In 1857 the two friends embarked on a study trip that took them from Spain to Rome, then Morocco (1860), back to Rome (1863), on to Grenada (1871) and back to Morocco (1872). In 1876, following Fortuny's death, Tapiró settled permanently in Tangiers.
Tapiró exhibited the present work along with three others in London in 1885, showing them to the public at Abraham Myer's Gallery on New Bond Street and to the Prince of Wales at Marlborough House. Described as 'four very remarkable drawings of Arab life at Tangier' in The Times, their positive reception followed the artist's successful London exhibition in 1883.