Cabeza de gitana (Gipsy Woman's Head)

Isidre Nonell

Barcelona, Spain, 1872 - 1911
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    54 x 46 cm
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  • Entry date: 
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
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Towards the end of the 19th century, some critics and artists turned against the way Modernisme held sway over the Catalan worlds of plastic art and culture, arguing for radical changes in stylistic and iconographic direction. Of all of them, Isidre Nonell is the painter who attained the highest profile. He was an artist interested in the representation of the lower classes, and cultivated a style of caricature and graphic illustration imbued with a sharp critical sensibility. Cabeza de gitana (Gipsy Woman's Head, 1906) is an excellent example of the artist’s work and of his pictorial style, in which the figures stand out sharply to present an accentuated monumentality, eliminating any clichéd features and eschewing the lineal or chromatic brilliance of Modernisme. Nonell creates volumes full of energy, maintaining a strong, drawing-like outline. Although sometimes associated with Noucentisme (a movement supported by Eugenio d'Ors, proposing a new Classicism) the artist defies conventional categorisation.

Paloma Esteban Leal