Josep Maria Tamburini
Barcelona 1856 - 1932
63.5 × 48 cm
1888 - Silver medal at the Barcelona Universal Exposition
1898 - Queen Regent's Extraordinary Award at the Exposición General de Bellas Artes de Barcelona for his painting Cuento azul
1911 - Special Award from Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain
Barcelona, Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña (MNAC)
Vilanova i la Geltrú, Biblioteca Museu Víctor Balaguer
Sevilla, Museo de Bellas Artes
Josep Maria Tamburini was a painter of Italian descent whose life ran parallel to that of another famous Catalan painter, Antonio Fabrés. Both were born in the 1850s, studied at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona (‘La Llotja’), went to Rome, moved in the same circles and interacted with each other. Tamburini published some of his drawings in the Catalan magazine L’Avenç, where he worked as an art critic and contributed some poems, too. He also wrote for the newspaper La Vanguardia. At the beginning he devoted himself to history painting (The Count of Urgell, prisoner of the supporters of Ferdinand of Aragon, 1891), from which he evolved into anecdotal realism.
By the turn of the century, Tamburini switched between realism and Modernisme, although we find in his very personal voice the last echoes of academicism and the influence of Fortuny that connects him with the English Pre-Raphaelites whose works he saw in Paris. He is a painter whose language is a blend of diverse aesthetic ideas, with portrays them as nymphs and as the Blessed Virgin, as fairies as well as bourgeois ladies, in mystical and sensuous atmospheres full of melancholy. It would be easy to label his painting as Symbolist, but it reaches beyond Symbolism into idealism, reflecting the strong influence of literature in his pictorial world.
This work is a superb example of his art – a grisaille depicting a woman by the sea.
Josep Maria Tamburini, Portrait of a young yoman, 1895-1910, 27 x 21 cm.
Museu Nacional De Catalunya, Barcelona.
Josep Maria Tamburini in his studio.