Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Santiago Rusinol

El Cafe de Montmartre (Cafe de los Incoherentes)
oil on canvas
80 x 116 cm
Museo de Montserrat, Montserrat, Spain

Santiago Rusinol i Prats (1861-1931) was a Spanish painter, poet, and playwright. He was one of the leaders of the Catalan modernisme movement who influenced Pablo Picasso as a modern artist. He was born in Barcelona to a family of industrialists in textiles with origins in Manlleu. Despite the fact that he was the heir to the family's lucrative operations, by the time he was a teenager he already showed a strong interest in painting and travel. Like so many artists of the day, he travelled to Paris in 1889, living in Montmartre.

Much of his work in Paris belonged to the Symbolism painting style. While there, he attended the Gervex Academy, where he discovered his love for modernism. After returning to Spain, he settled in Sitges, founding a studio and museum named Cau Ferrat. When back in Barcelona, he was a frequent client of the cafe Els Quatre Gats, noted for its association with modernisme and the young Pablo Picasso. He was most known for his plays, and landscape and garden paintings. He died in Aranjuez in 1931 while painting its famous gardens.