Julia Wearing a Mantilla
Oil on canvas
108 x 98 cm
Signed "R. Casas," bottom right
Awards and Honours
1883 - His Self-Portrait Dressed as a Flamenco Dancer, exhibited at the Salon des Champs-Élysées in Paris, entitled him to become a member of the salon of the Société des Artistes Français.
1891- First Second Class Medal, Berlin Internationale Ausstellung, Berlin (Germany).
1892 - Third Medal, Exposición Internacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid (Spain).
1896 - Second Class Medal, III Exposición General de Bellas Artes e Industrias Artísticas, Barcelona (Spain).
1898 - First Class Medal, IV Exposición General de Bellas Artes e Industrias Artísticas, Barcelona (Spain).
1898 - First Award, Anís del Mono, Barcelona (Spain).
1901 - First Medal, München Internationale Kunstausstellung, Munich (Germany).
1901 - Third Award, Cigarrillos París, Buenos Aires (Argentina).
1904 - First Medal, Exposición General de Bellas Artes, Madrid (Spain) with La carga ('The Charge').
1907 - First Medal, V Exposición Internacional de Arte, Barcelona (Spain).
1917 - Légion d'Honneur Medal, given by the french government, Paris (France).
Museums and collections
Barcelona, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Barcelona, Museu del Modernisme Català
Montserrat, Barcelona, Museu de Montserrat
Sitges, Barcelona, Museu del Cau Ferrat
Sitges, Barcelona, Museu Maricel
Barcelona, Fundación Cultural Privada Rocamora,
Vilanova i la Geltrú, Biblioteca Museu Víctor Balaguer
Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado
Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes
Córdoba, Museo de Bellas Artes
Vigo, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
Barcelona, Círculo del Liceo
Barcelona, Círculo Ecuestre
Madrid, Colección Abelló
Madrid, Colección Carmen Thyssen
Barcelona, Fundación privada Vila Casas
Santander, Colección Fundación Banco Santander
Havana, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Cuba
Dallas, Museum of Art
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
New York, Hispanic Society of America
Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern University Library
Melbourne, Australia, National Gallery of Victoria
Madrid, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Miami, Florida, Deering Estate
Ramon Casas is the quintessential painter of Catalan Modernisme, embodying the new pictorial language imported from Paris. When he was only 15 years old, he went to Paris to study in Carolus Duran's studio. In 1883, he exhibited his Self-Portrait Dressed as a Flamenco Dancer at the Salon du Champ de Mars in Paris, a work which entitled him to become a member of the Société des Artistes Français. A tireless traveller, Casas completed his education in Granada and Madrid (1884–85). In 1890, attracted by the bohemian life in Montmartre, he moved to Paris with his friend and fellow painter Santiago Rusiñol in a studio near the Moulin de la Galette. It was at this time that his works "in grey paint" earned him his reputation as a great painter.
Back in Barcelona, Casas resumed portrait painting. Looking for new settings for his works, he made frequent visits to the seaside town of Sitges, south of Barcelona, where he took part in the first and third Modernist Festivals. In 1890, he exhibited his paintings at the Sala Parés, together with works by his friends Rusiñol and Enric Clarasó (a three-artist exhibition that would be repeated in 1891 and 1893).
Casas’ works reveal his involvement in the social and political problems of the time, commenting on current events in paintings like Garrote vil (1894), Embarkation of troops to Cuba (1896), The Corpus Christi Procession Leaving the Church of Santa Maria del Mar (1898) or The Charge (1899), exhibited in the Salon des Beaux Arts in 1903, with the title Barcelona 1902. At the same time, he cultivated a more sensuous approach to painting, with women dressed as "chulas", with elaborate shawls and fans, or bullfighting scenes, such as Going to the Bullfight, which he exhibited at the Salon du Champ de Mars (1896).
Ramon Casas was a strong supporter and customer of café Els Quatre Gats in Barcelona. This café, which opened in 1897, drew inspiration from the Parisian café Le Chat Noir, and hosted exhibitions, literary evenings, artistic and musical events, as well as Chinese shadow puppet shows. It also published a magazine bearing its name. Ramon Casas played a major role in the creation of the two Catalan Modernista magazines par excellence, Pèl i Ploma (1899-1903) and Forma (1904-07).
In 1900, Casas made a long stay in Paris, where most of his paintings focused on modern, young and elegant female figures. Eventually, he was commissioned to decorate the hall of the Círculo del Liceo in Barcelona with a number of such works (1902). Hailed as a great portraitist, in 1904 he painted an equestrian portrait of King Alfonso XIII.
Among Ramon Casas' extensive pictorial production, his portraits of women are especially relevant. One of his favourite models was undoubtedly Júlia Peraire i Ricarte (Sant Martí de Provençals 1888 - Barcelona 1941), a beautiful lottery saleswoman active in Barcelona's Plaça de Catalunya, whom Casas met at the tertulias held at the café Maison Dorée in the same square. Ramon Casas repeatedly portrayed his muse, capturing her figure in oil paintings, drawings and posters. Dazzled by her features, personality and youth, after several years of living together, he married her in 1922.
In 1908, Casas travelled to the United States at the invitation of the American millionaire collector and philanthropist Charles Deering, whom he had met in 1903. The stay lasted six months, which allowed him to visit New York, Washington, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Miami and Cuba. Casas assisted Deering in the decoration of his Maricel House in Sitges and in the reconstruction and refurbishment of the castle of Tamarit, near Tarragona.
Organised by the Real Círculo Artístico, a tribute exhibition to Ramon Casas was held in Barcelona at the Palace of Fine Arts in 1930.
Ramon casas, Julia in the white mantilla, 1909, 52.5 x 39cm
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Borneisza, Madrid.
Ramón Casas in his studio.
Alcolea Albero, Santiago. Ramon Casas. Sabadell: Ausa, 1990, rep. p. 182.
Coll, Isabel. Ramon Casas. Catálogo razonado. Murcia: De la Cierva, 2002, rep. p. 410, fig. 574.