Solana, Jose Gutierrez (1886-1945) - 1936 Masks with Donkey (Coleccion Banco de Santander, Spain)
Oil on canvas; 204 x 149 cm.
Spanish painter and writer. His private tuition in art from 1893 was furthered with studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid from 1900 to 1904. On completing his studies he began to frequent the Nuevo Café de Levante, where he met many writers of the ‘Generation of 1898’ movement. Their irony, satire and melancholy strongly influenced Solana’s painting and literary work, such as his first book of essays on contemporary life in Spain, Madrid, Escenas y costumbres (Madrid, 1913, 2/1918). From the 1920s he exhibited widely in Spain and in group exhibitions abroad. In his paintings, influenced above all by Goya and by Spanish Baroque masters such as Juan de Valdés Leal, he treated subjects such as death, as in The Procession of Death (1930; Madrid, Mus. A. Contemp.), prostitution and alcoholism.