They Homecoming - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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They Homecoming

Baroja, Ricardo

Minas de Riotinto, Huelva, 12/01/1871-Bera, Navarre, 19/12/1953

Oil on panel

62.5 x 94.3 cm

Monogram: the initials R (inverted) and B intertwined (bottom right hand corner); Monogram: the initials R (inverted) and B intertwined (on the reverse)


Second quarter of the 20th century


Acquired in 1940

  • The Homecoming is a good example of Baroja's aesthetics, displaying the typical touch of turning the spectator into an eyewitness to the effects of war. Here the painter portrays the shock felt by people returning to the homes they abandoned to escape the war and which the fighting has left unrecognisable. With a cold palette and a disturbing, timeless light that help to intensify the dramatic quality of the scene, Baroja focuses on one of the town's main streets, which means he can distribute on either side of the composition the ruins, rubble, structural remains of buildings and the people themselves as they contemplate what is left of their homes. The street, in turn, divides the composition with a space that underlines the desolation of the scene. (Javier Novo)

Selected bibliography

  • Cava Mesa, Maria Jesús; Silvestre, María; Arranz, Javier. Memoria colectiva del bombardeo de Gernika. Gernika-Lumo, Gernika Gogoratuz, 1996. p. 305, il.
  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Catálogo de arte moderno y contemporáneo del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Banco de Vizcaya, 1980. p. 28. (Con el título Vuelven al pueblo).
  • Caro Baroja, Pío. Imagen y derrotero de Ricardo Baroja [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao ; Vitoria-Gasteiz, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao ; Eusko Jaurlaritza, Kultura eta Turismo Saila = Gobierno Vasco, Departamento de Cultura y Turismo, 1987. p. 190..
  • Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008. pp. 59-60.
  • Gida Euskal Artistak. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Eder Museoa, 2008. pp. 59-60.
  • Guide Basque Artists. Bilbao, Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2012. pp. 58-59, n° cat. 26a.
  • Viar, Javier. Historia del arte vasco : de la Guerra Civil a nuestros días, 1936-2016. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2017. p. 30, il.
  • Bilboko Museoaren alfabetoa = El alfabeto del Museo de Bilbao = The alphabet of the Bilbao Museum = L'alphabet du Musée de Bilbao [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. pp. 311, 317, n° cat. 175.