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Annotated works

GUINEA, Anselmo

(Bilbao, 1855-1906)

Portrait of a Lady

Oil on canvas

75 x 52,5 cm

1894

Basque Artists (19th Century - Mid-20th Century)

N.° inv. 82/35

Donated by Josefina Otaduy in 1976

Group of People

Oil on canvas

147 x 190,5 cm

1904

Basque Artists (19th Century - Mid-20th Century)

N.° inv. 82/35

Donated by Josefina Otaduy in 1976


GUINEA, Anselmo on Online collection

Most of the portraits by Guinea are dated between 1889 and 1894, the years immediately following his second Italian sojourn, and reveal the importance he grants to landscape. In this scene the figure is set in a natural location where the light takes centre stage, while the figure and the landscape merge into harmonious tonalities. The brightness of the composition and the blues of the arboreal mass reveal the influence of the painter Adolfo Guiard, who brought Guinea into contact with Impressionism.

During his teenage years in Bilbao Guinea received the teachings of Ramón Elorriaga and Antonio María Lecuona. He furthered his studies at the Special School of Painting in Madrid (1874-1875) and then spent five months in Rome (1875-1876). Upon his return, in 1879 he became professor of Drawing at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bilbao, although late in 1881 he requested an extended leave of absence to travel again to Rome, where he achieved his first success and remained until early 1887. In 1888 he settled in Bilbao and resumed his position at the School of Arts and Crafts, work he combined with teaching at his own recently opened private school. Late in 1891 he travelled to Paris in order to get acquainted with the artistic experimentation taking place there; this stay was followed by another in 1895, after which Guinea's works became brighter and his draughtsmanship more free-flowing, as exemplified in his skilful landscapes and genre paintings. Two further sojourns in Rome between 1902 and 1905 led to a personal approach to social Realism and to the recovery of Italian genre themes, reinterpreted in a new aesthetic light.

During the last years of his life he produced commercial works for local art collectors, who continued to demand the Romanised themes and types he had explored in the 1880s. Thus, in 1902 Guinea went back to painting scenes in Capri with the Vesuvius in the background, fisherwomen on the Neapolitan coast, romances between young Romans and evocations of Classical times. However, Group of People is one of his most personal paintings. The main figures are popular Roman characters and the work is set on Ponte Margherita, from where we catch a glimpse of the obelisk of Piazza del Popolo and Pincio gardens, close to Via Margutta where the painter had his atelier. In technical terms, this is a fine example of the dichotomy that began to characterise his works in 1890, presenting a foreground with solidly built figures and a background characterised by a sensitive use of light and free-flowing brushstrokes.  [M.L.G.]

Selected bibliography (Portrait of a Lady):

José María Arenaza Urrutia. Anselmo Guinea, 1854-1906 : un pintor para la modernidad. Bilbao : Fundación BBK Fundazioa, 2006, p. 151.

Mikel Lertxundi Galiana. De Goya a Gauguin : el siglo XIX en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008, pp. 396-398, n.º 81, ad vocem.

Mikel Lertxundi Galiana. Guía de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008 (1ª ed. 2008; ed. inglés),  pp. 32- 34, n.º 13, ad vocem.

Anselmo Guinea, 1855-1906 : los orígenes de la modernidad en la pintura vasca. [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2012, pp. 172-174, n.º 46.

Anselmo Guinea. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : guía. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2011 (1ª ed. 2006; ed. inglés; ed. francés; ed. euskera), pp. 116 y 117, n.º 81a, ad vocem.

Selected bibliography (Group of People):

Xesqui Castañer López. La imagen de la mujer en la plástica vasca contemporánea, s. XVIII-XX : aproximación a una metodología del género. Bilbao : Universidad del País Vasco = Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea , 1993, p. 46.

Jose Maria Arenaza Urrutia. Anselmo Guinea, 1854-1906 : un pintor para la modernidad. Bilbao : Fundacion BBK Fundazioa, 2006, pp. 88-89.

Mikel Lertxundi Galiana. Guía de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008 (1ª ed. 2008; ed. inglés), pp. 32- 34, n.º 13, ad vocem.

Mikel Lertxundi Galiana. De Goya a Gauguin : el siglo XIX en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008, pp. 403-405, n.º 83, ad vocem.

Anselmo Guinea, 1855-1906 : los orígenes de la modernidad en la pintura vasca [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2012, pp. 265-269, n.º 85.

Anselmo Guinea. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : guía. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2011 (1ª ed. 2006; ed. inglés; ed. francés; ed. euskera), pp. 116 y 117, n.º 81b, ad vocem.

Annotated works