The present work depicts the upper half of the flight of stairs dedicated to Apollo in the Raixa Gardens, north of Palma de Mallarco. Originally laid out by the Moors, the Raixa Gardens were redesigned by Cardinal Antoni Despuig i Cotoner during the eighteenth century. Begun in 1902 and completed in 1907, Pedres velles is one of four pictures Rusiñol painted of the steps.
The charismatic leader of Catalan Modernism, and a founder of Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona, Rusiñol travelled widely and spent extended periods in Paris. Notwithstanding his position as a leading member of the international avant-garde, however, it was in Spain that he was able to explore the full range of his resonant palette and where many of his most powerful and evocative works were completed.
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