The present work reflects the artist's lasting interest in the themes of Mallorcan Flamenco unfolding under arbours in open landscapes. Anglada first explored the theme as early as 1901 in Danza española
(Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg), which led approximately 9 years later to his monumental composition of 360 by 512cm, El Tango de la corona.
Although the present work was held to be a study for this large work at its exhibition in 1955, Fontbona & Miralles suggest it was painted somewhat later, datable to the artist's first Mallorca period (1914-36).
Plaintive yet passionate, earthy yet full of grace, the Spanish gitana has been all but synonymous with Spain since her kinsfolk first landed on Iberia's shores in the fifteenth century from as far afield as India. The Spanish came to revere but also fear gypsies because of their nomadic way of life and the freedoms it seemed to allow. For some three hundred years, they were persecuted, their settlements broken up, their language and rituals denied them. Yet, paradoxically, the hardship they endured nurtured a whole subculture most nobly embodied by dance and the flamenco.
By the nineteenth century, Spain had embraced Gypsy myth and lore. The Romantics were in awe of the gypsies for their otherworldliness and seeming ability to commune with nature, while the following generation of artists and writers, driven by patriotism in the wake of Spain's colonial losses, venerated the gypsy as the quintessential icon of Spanish identity. Nonell, Zuloaga, and Solana were among Anglada's contemporaries who endowed the gitana with a gravitas, at times playful, at times austere, that linked her inextricably with Spain's psyche.