• Ramon Casas

    Barcelona 1866-1932


    Julia Wearing a Mantilla

    c. 1914

    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

    Colección Masaveu

    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.