SANTIAGO RUSIÑOL | Caminal d'hortènsies (Hydrangeas on a Garden Path)
100,000 - 150,000 GBP
Property from an English Private Collection
1861 - 1931
Caminal d'hortènsies (Hydrangeas on a Garden Path)
signed S. Rusiñol lower left
oil on canvas
98.5 by 115cm., 38¾ by 45¼in.
The canvas has not been lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher, possibly the original.
There is some undulation in the canvas in the extreme lower left and lower right corners.
The paint surface appears to be stable. There is some drying craquelure in the dark foliage closer to the centre of the upper framing edge.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals no visible sign of restoration.
This work is in good original condition and is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame.
"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. 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."
Josep de C. Laplana, Santiago Rusiñol: El pintor, l'home, Barcelona, 1995, p. 577, no. 2.
Josep de C. Laplana & Mercedes Palau-Ribes O'Callaghan, La pintura de Santiago Rusiñol. Obra completa, Barcelona, 2004, vol. I, p. 176, cited; vol. III, p. 202, no. 20.1.10, catalogued & illustrated (as Caminal d'hortènsies)
Barcelona, Sala Parés, Exposició Rusiñol, Casas i Clarasó, 1929, no. 9 (as Caminal d'hortènsies (Arbúcies))
Barcelona, Real Círcolo Artístico, Exposición homenaje a Santiago Rusiñol, 1956, no. 7
London, Royal Academy of Arts, Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, 2016, no. 92, illustrated in the catalogue
Painted in 1929, this haunting vista of borders of pink hydrangeas along a wooded path shaded by a verdant canopy was painted in the Parc Badés in Arbúcies, a town lying some fifty kilometres to the northeast of Barcelona. The gardens of the Casa Badés became the subject of no fewer than fifteen of Rusiñol's paintings between 1927 and 1929.
The present work was one of four canvases by Rusiñol included in the Royal Academy's recent exhibition Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse, together with two by the artist's fellow Catalan painter Joaquim Mir. Of Rusiñol, Heather Lemonedes wrote in the catalogue: 'Rusiñol's dedication to the theme of the garden was matched by few other artists. A trip to Granada in 1898 seems to have been pivotal for the Catalan painter-poet...It has been suggested that the garden provided a refuge from his melancholic personality and morphine addiction, and that the empty garden became a metaphor for the artist's inner world; but painting the abandoned gardens of the aristocracy may have also been an expression of Spain's decline following defeat in the Spanish-American War of 1898.'
The charismatic leader of Catalan Modernism, and a founder of Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona, Rusiñol travelled widely and spent extended periods in Paris. Notwithstanding his position as a leading member of the international avant-garde, however, it was in Spain, away from the clamour of the Parisian metropolis, that he was able to explore the full range of his resonant palette and where many of his most powerful and evocative works were completed.