Lot 10
  • 10

Ángel Zárraga (1886-1946)

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Ángel Zárraga
  • Muchachita con frutas
  • signed lower center; also signed Paris Angel Zarraga on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 19 3/4 by 16 1/4 in.
  • 50.1 by 41.3 cm
  • Painted circa 1915.


Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Latin American Art, November 20, 1989, lot 26, illustrated in color
Private Collection, New York
Sale: Christie's, New York, The Latin American Art Sale; Important Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, November 25 1998, lot 122, illustrated in color


Guadalajara, Casa de la Cultura Jaliciense, Angel Zárraga, 1969
Mexico City, Museo de Arte Moderno, Homenaje a Angel Zárraga, 1969, n. 18
Mexico City, El Salón de la Plástica Mexicana, Homenaje a Angel Zárraga, 1982


Paulette Patout, "La Aventura Europea", Zárraga, Milan, 1997, p. 162, illustrated in color


This painting appears not to have been restored recently however, at some point within the last 30-40 years the tacking edges were reinforced to allow for proper stretching. At that time, the paint layer was lightly cleaned, varnished and retouched. The retouches are quite extensive and are clearly visible under ultraviolet light. At some point in this picture's history some instability to the paint layer caused numerous losses throughout the paint layer, more concentrated in the lower third of the picture. It is possible that the signature has been augmented, but it does seem to bear original characteristics. The picture could be hung as is however, a more diligent approach to restoration might be fruitful, since it seems that the picture is still dirty and the restorations a little heavy handed. (This condition report has been provided courtesy of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.)
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Angel Zárraga studied at the National School of Fine Arts along with fellow artists Diego Rivera and Saturnino Herrán.  Born into affluence, he was able to afford a trip to Europe in 1904 where he visited the museums of Italy, France and Spain admiring the works of the great masters and absorbing the tenets of realism and symbolism.  In Spain he exhibited with Ignacio Zuloaga, met Julio Romero de Torres and studied under Joaquín Sorolla.
 After a brief trip home to Mexico in 1907, Zárraga returned to Spain in 1908 to continue his exposure and involvement in the leading intellectual circles of the time, exhibiting successfully with Giorgio de Chirico in Italy and at the Paris Autumn Salon a year later. It is during this period, under the influence of Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris that Zárraga and his friend Diego Rivera explored and incorporated cubism into their work.
 Zárraga's cubism reflects a gentle and sensual exploration of form and color.  His compositions are classical and balanced with a sumptuous use of color that betrays the influence of Cezanne.  In Muchachita con frutas we see a woman holding a bowl of fruit with her right hand.  The explosion of color and rich surface texture combine to produce a work that charms our eye as it catches the balance between the opposing diagonals of the girl's hat with the streaks of light on the upper right.  The subject's round hairdo is also repeated by the voluptuous fruit and grapes that hang from the bowl.  
 The cubist works of Zárraga's are rare as he spent only a few short years painting in this style.  As his portraits of the 1920's and 30's gave way to the collapse of the international art market during the Great Depression and his mural commissions toward the end of his life, it is the dynamism of his cubist paintings that reflect the mastery of Angel Zárraga.