Jardí d'Aranjuez. Glorieta II (The Garden at Aranjuez. Arbor II)

Santiago Rusiñol

Barcelona, Spain, 1861 - Aranjuez, Madrid, Spain, 1931
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    105 x 134,5 cm
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In 1897, Santiago Rusiñol travelled to Granada. There he completed a series of garden paintings (walled gardens, the Alhambra, etc.) inspired by the elegance of the Nasrid parterres, whose essential features included plants, water, light and architectural elements. Following his stay in Granada, Rusiñol tried out new pictorial formulas, also painting gardens in the places he lived or visited: Sitges, Valencia, Játiva, Majorca and especially Aranjuez. He discovered this last town when he was thirty-seven years old and continued to include it in his “painting campaigns” for the rest of his life. It is even where death took him. At that time, the Royal Residence was still relatively remote, as the monarchy had stopped frequenting it almost a century earlier. Rusiñol’s presence therefore made a significant contribution to raising awareness of and popularising its melancholy landscapes. An early ensemble of garden paintings was shown at L’Art Nouveau Gallery in Paris. They were on display during the months of October and November 1899 and the show was so successful that the artist achieved international recognition. This is demonstrated by reviews in the press of the time, including one written by François Thiébault-Sisson in the newspaper Le Temps: “Rusiñol is neither an Impressionist nor a classical painter: he is himself and no one else. And in the Jardines de España (Gardens of Spain) collection now on display, I do not know what to admire more, the truth of his sentiment or the spontaneity of his style, the delicacy of his colours or the fitting choice of subject matter.” An exquisite volume combining painting and poetry was published in 1903 under this very same name, Jardines de España. Following introductions by both Azorín and Rusiñol himself, it features forty-one beautiful plates of the gardens, together with poems in Spanish and Catalan by various authors: Machado, Marquina, Pérez de Ayala, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Costa i Llobera and Joan Maragall, among others.

Paloma Esteban Leal