Nude - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Pérez Orúe, Ernesto

Bilbao, 25/12/1898-Iruña, 19/10/1957

Oil on canvas

72.8 x 61.5 cm

E. PEREZ ORÚE (top right hand corner); E. PEREZ ORUE (on the reverse)

c. 1926

First half of the 20th century


Contributed by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia in 1926

Being almost entirely the work of a painter still in training, Pérez Orúe's output is full of the kind of assays and false moves of an artist still looking to find his own style. His genre paintings show Impressionist, Fauvist and Expressionist influences. Although he produced some excellent portraits, nudes and traditional scenes, he was really captivated by the landscape. In the 1920s, some of his landscapes were grouped into theme-based series. In 1920-1921 he produced views of the river at Bilbao; in 1922-1923, while in Paris, he painted the bridges over the river Seine; and in 1925 he travelled around Castile and painted views of areas near Pancorbo, Zamora and Salamanca.

Toilettes were another regular feature of his paintings and engravings. Unfortunately this upset his mother, a woman of deep Catholic convictions who simply could not abide her son's use of models draped in nothing much at all. In 1926 he submitted Nude to the First Exhibition of Basque Artists held at the Museum of Modern Art in Bilbao, for which the work was acquired. The body of the young woman, surprised as she brushes her hair after bathing, is constructed in harmonious pastel colours, some way from the Expressioniststyle lights and angular anatomies featured in some of his woodcut nudes. (Mikel Lertxundi)

Selected bibliography

  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Catálogo de arte moderno y contemporáneo del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya, 1980. p. 95. (Con el título Desnudo).
  • Castañer López, Xesqui. "Iconografía de la mujer en los pintores vascos, siglos XIX y XX", Kobie : bellas artes, n° 2. 1984. p. 107.
  • Mur Pastor, Pilar. La Asociación de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao ; Caja de Ahoros Vizcaína, 1985. p. 114.
  • La Sociedad de Artistas Ibéricos y el arte español de 1925 [Cat. exp.]. Madrid ; Barcelona, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía ; Àmbit, 1995. p. 137.
  • Tradición y modernidad en la pintura vasca : en las colecciones del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao [Cat. exp.]. Valencia, Autoritad Portuale de Valencia, 1999. pp. 108-109.
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. p. 104.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. p. 104.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. p. 104, n° cat. 52.