Concha - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Guezala, Antonio de

Bilbao, 11/06/1889-Bilbao, 13/09/1956

Oil on canvas

130 x 111.5 cm (maximum)

Antonio Guezala (lower right side)


First quarter of the 20th century


Acquired in 1995

According to the dedication on the lower right of the painting, Concha was a gift from the artist to his doctor, Cesáreo Díaz Emparanza, in acknowledgement of the latter's medical care of the artist's family and their shared involvement and love of the arts. The painting dates from the time Guezala identified with international Modernism, possibly as a result of an early stay in Manchester, or of the foreign trips motivated by the family's lingerie and children's clothing business. Whatever the reason, he certainly sympathized with the vindication of the decorative and applied arts and with the Viennese version of Modernism, the synthetic, constructive nature of which showed him how to improve the structure of his composition. In his portraits, and this one in particular, the two-dimensional rendering of the surface, his preference for straight lines and the use of decorative patterns recall the work produced in the studios of turn-of-the-century Vienna. The floral apotheosis so typical of French modernism has here given way to an exercise that structures the colour fields into delimited planes. Guezala also cuts the canvas octagonally and carves the wood frame as just one more part of the work. But, above all, he really delights here in his decorative handiwork, in the suggestion of colour nuanced in harmonious tones and in the description of a world he knows well. The brushwork thickens in the floral explosion of the tunic and the subtle lacework of the blouse and to highlight the jewel adornments, the ceramic iridescences and the chromatic qualities of the budgerigar. [Pilar Mur]

Selected bibliography

  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. pp. 94-95.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. pp. 94-95.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 94-95.
  • Arte japonés y japonismo [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2014. p. 90, il.
  • Perversidad : mujeres fatales en el arte moderno, 1880 - 1950 [Cat. exp.]. Málaga, Fundación Palacio Villalón, 2019. pp. 136-137, 194, n° cat. 51.