Lot 220
  • 220

RAFAEL ZABALETA | Nocturno de los Gatos (The Night of the Cats)

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Rafael Zabaleta
  • Nocturno de los Gatos (The Night of the Cats)
  • signed R Zabaleta (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 93 by 81 cm., 36 1/2 by 31 7/8 in.
  • Painted in 1958.


Private Collection, Madrid
Acquired by the present owner in Venice in 1960


Madrid, Dirección General de Bellas Artes, Rafael Zabaleta, 1959, n. 14, illustrated in the catalogue
Venice, XXX Biennale di Venezia, 1960
Madrid, Club Urbis, 1961, n. 6


AA. VV., R. Zabaleta, Madrid, 1961, illustrated
Juan Eduardo Cirlot, El arte del siglo XX, vol. II, illustrated p. 523
María Guzmán Pérez, Catalogación de la producción artística Zabaletiana, Granada, 1983, n. 420, pp. 721-722
María Guzmán Pérez, La pintura de Rafael Zabaleta, Granada, 1983, p. 410
María Guzmán Pérez, Rafael Zabaleta. Estudio Catalográfico. Óleos y acuarelas, Ed. Diputación de Jaén, 2010, listed n. 428, p. 388, not illustrated

Catalogue Note

Nocturno de los Gatos is one of only three known oil paintings by the artist that features cats as its central theme. Portrayed amidst an ambient nocturnal background with a distant full moon, the trinity of cats form an isosceles triangle, cutting across the flat scene through the symmetrically composed longitudinal axes. The remaining elements evenly distributed to support the triangle, form a mathematical symmetry that achieves an equilibrium characteristic of the artist's works. A schematic œuvre that is defined by simple and obscure lines, the present work employ forms, volumes and contortions that give the appearance of a stained glass. Consequently, its framework divides light and dark and luminous colour to create a plasticity inherited from Cubism.

We would like to thank Rosa Valiente, Director of the Zabaleta Museum, for her assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.