49
49

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Ricardo Canals
SPANISH
A BALCONY AT THE BULLFIGHT
ACCÉDER AU LOT
49

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Ricardo Canals
SPANISH
A BALCONY AT THE BULLFIGHT
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

|
Londres

Ricardo Canals
1876-1931
SPANISH
A BALCONY AT THE BULLFIGHT

Provenance

Ivo Bosch (Paris-based Catalan banker; commissioned from the artist)
Galeria del Cisne, Madrid (by 1963)
Acquired by the great-uncle of the present owners by the 1970s

Exposition

Museo de Arte Moderno de Barcelona, Canals: exposición conmemorativa del centenario de su nacimiento, 1976, no. 7
Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Devorar Paris. Picasso 1900-1907, 2011, no. 73, illustrated in the catalogue

Bibliographie

José Lopez-Rey, 'The Early Picasso', in Apollo, June 1963, p. 520, discussed and illustrated

Description

Painted in 1904 while Canals was living and working in a studio at the Bateau Lavoir in Montmartre, this animated painting shows a wonderfully elegant array of ladies dressed up for the great social occasion of the bullfight, in manola dress with their black and white mantillas. As part of a typical artistic device, used by Renoir, Manet, and Goya before them, the spectators become the spectacle, like actors on a stage. Like the theatre, the bull ring offered a wonderful opportunity for the audience - especially the ladies - to show off their finery, and became almost as much an occasion for observing one another as it was to follow the performance.

The two central ladies leaning on the balustrade were Fernande Olivier and Benedetta ('Bianco') Coletti. Fernande was muse and model to the Catalan painter Joaquín Sunyer, but she famously left him for Picasso when the latter arrived at the Bateau Lavoir in 1904. The Italian-born Benedetta became Canal's lover and later his wife. At the beginning of her relationship with Picasso, Fernande was living with Canals and Bianco, and the pose of the central figures in the present work is clearly borrowed directly from a 1904 photograph of the two in Canals’ studio (fig. 1).

Both women worked as professional models - Fernande for François Sicard and Fernand Cormon, and Benedetta for Bartholomé and Degas, as well as sitting for the 'band catalan' of which Canals, Picasso and Sunyer were a part. Sunyer, who had moved out of the Bateau Lavoir by the time the present work was executed, had also painted Fernande and Benedetta together, not at a bullfight but among the audience at the Cirque Medrano. When Picasso painted a portrait of Benedetta the following year (fig. 2), he carried on Canals’ Spanish theme by having her pose for him wearing a mantilla.

19th Century European Paintings

|
Londres