Mine Landscape - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Buy image

Mine Landscape

Landa, Juan José

Bilbao, 01/10/1898-Bermeo, Bizkaia, 27/02/1941

Oil on canvas

71.5 x 66.3 cm

JLanda (on the reverse)

c. 1920-1921

First quarter of the 20th century


Contributed by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia in 1922

Mine Landscape is one of a series of landscapes of mines which, together with another set of paintings of the garden in painter Enrique Salazar's estate in Deusto, is just about all that survives of his work. The paintings clearly reveal Landa's debt to Gauguin and Fauvism, and transform the landscapes around Bilbao into strangely visionary Edens. The influence can be seen principally in the intensity of the colour, accompanied by the impetus of the brushwork. But the strangeness also has to do with the composition, as the painter imposes a special tension with out-of-proportion elements (human or plant figures). In the case of this Mine Landscape, in which the place portrayed is transformed by the deployment of purples, oranges, greens and yellows (in other paintings the artist also adds violent reds) proportion is altered by a thin, upright totem-like tree that quite imposingly takes centre stage, creating a disturbing spatial imbalance. The painting may well have been included in the one-man show already mentioned and was certainly in the group exhibition the Association of Basque Artists organized in Gernika to mark the 3rd Congress of Basque Studies in 1922, which led to it being acquired by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia to be deposited at the Museum. Landa had previously taken part in the exhibition of the Mercantile Circle Association of Zaragoza in May 1921. (Javier Viar)

Selected bibliography

  • III Congreso de Estudios Vascos : catálogo exposición de arte. Guernica, Excelentísima DIputación de Vizcaya, 1922. p. 6, n° cat. 71.
  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Catálogo de arte moderno y contemporáneo del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya, 1980. p. 73. (Con el título Paisaje de las minas).
  • Mur Pastor, Pilar. La Asociación de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao ; Caja de Ahoros Vizcaína, 1985. p. 96. (con el título Jugadores de cartas)
  • Marrodán, Mario Ángel. Diccionario de pintores Vascos. Madrid, Beramar, 1989. vol III, s.p.
  • Arnáiz, José Manuel [dir.]. Cien años de pintura en España y Portugal, 1830-1930. Madrid, Antiquaria, vol. IV, 1990. p. 217.
  • Paisajea Bilboko Arte Eder Museoko Bilduman : Regoyosetik Canejara = El paisaje en la Colección del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : de Regoyos a Caneja [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Fundación Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa Fundazioa, 2006. p. 62-63.
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. p. 106.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. p. 106.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. p. 106, n° cat. 54.