II Still Life - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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II Still Life

García Barrena, Carmelo

Bilbao, 01/07/1926-Bilbao, 24/07/2000

Oil on canvas

116.5 x 89.5 cm

G Barrena (bottom right hand corner)


Third quarter of the 20th century


Acquired in 1968

II Still Life displays all the finest virtues of García Barrena's painting. The composition is organized according to the cavalier projection, or high viewpoint, popularized by the Cubists, expanding to occupy almost the entire painting. The Cubist influence also affects the treatment by planes of forms and space. The planes are created by the contrast of light and shadow, while the greens, greys and burnt colours create a general atmosphere of half-light. The dark armchair at the back quietly dominates the scene, providing a sheltering embrace that encompasses the picture as a whole, particularly the fragile vase that is the vertical axis of the work, thus achieving an impeccable image of domestic beatitude. [Javier Viar]

Selected bibliography

  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Catálogo de arte moderno y contemporáneo del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya, 1980. p. 56. (Con el título II Bodegón).
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. p. 133, n° cat. 73.
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. p. 134.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. p. 134.