JOSÉ GUTIÉRREZ SOLANA
1886 - 1945
signed J. Solana lower right
oil on canvas
90 by 75cm., 35½ by 29½in.
The canvas has not been lined. As just visible in the catalogue illustration there is a minor circa 5cm vertical hairline scratch to the left of the signature. There is one small spot of paint loss in the shawl of the woman to the far right. Under ultraviolet light a few very minor, scattered pinhead-sized spots appear to fluoresce and it is just possible that these could correspond to retouching. The painting is in excellent original condition, and its appearance could be enhanced with a surface clean.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame.
The work is stamped and titled on the reverse by the artist's brother, Manuel Gutiérrez Solana.
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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Alvaro Gil Varela, Lugo (acquired from the artist)
Juan Rof Carballo, Madrid
Galería Biosca, Madrid
Private collection, Spain (purchased from the above in 1985; sale: Sotheby's, London, 22 May 2014, lot 16)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Probably Madrid, Salón de Otoño, 1943, no. 118
Madrid, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Exposiciones de catalogación de la obra del pintor José G. Solana, 1959, no. 46
Castro-Sada-La Coruña, Museo Carlos Maside, Solana. Oleos, 1971, no. 178, illustrated in the catalogue
Solana. Oleos, Museo Carlos Maside, Sada-El Castro-La Coruña, 1977
José Luis Barrio Garay, Solana, London-New York, 1978, fig. 271 (as Cuatro Máscaras)
Luis Alonso Fernández, J. Solana. Estudio y Catalogación de su obra, Madrid, 1985, p. 265, no. P. 304, catalogued & illustrated
Painted circa 1943.
Solana’s paintings at once satirise and celebrate the rites and rituals of the rural communities of Santander and Castille. By focusing on the fanciful, the hysterical, the grotesque, and the macabre, Solana emphasises the bleak provinciality that isolated Spain from modern Europe following the loss of its colonial possessions and status as a world power at the end of the nineteenth century. Conversely, Solana - like the patriotic intellectuals of the Generación de 98 who called for the regeneration of Spain and with whom he fraternised - in his work implies that the country’s future is founded upon its proud traditions and the patriotism of its people.
Born on Carnival Sunday in Madrid in 1886, Solana was predestined to have a fascination with processions and grotesque masks. His highly personal aesthetic was informed not only by the Spanish Old Masters and notably Goya (whose Burial of the Sardine served as the direct inspiration for the present work); but by wider European artistic currents. Like the Belgian Symbolist and Realist artist James Ensor, whose works he would have known through their mutual friend Darío de Regoyos, masks allowed Solana to remove himself and his art from the political statement that underlies so many of his paintings.