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Annotated works


(Bilbao, 1874-1961)


Oil on canvas

129 x 201 cm


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

N.° inv. 82/109

Contributed by the Bilbao City Council in 1924

LARROQUE, Ángel on Online collection

The execution of Motherhood, an early work in Larroque's career, shows an unforeseen maturity that reveals the influence of French Symbolist painting. An excellent draughtsman, Larroque was also a skilled portrait painter who was especially fond of the child as a category of subject matter.

In this intimate domestic scene a young mother lying back on a Thonet sofa inspires her sleeping son with feelings of repose and protection. The main features of the work are the simplicity of the drawing and the stark contrast between the red dress worn by the mother and the off-white tinctures of the sleeved vest of the child and the bolster. The arabesques of the back of the sofa heighten the woman's surprised dreaminess that pervades the entire work.

Born into a family of ornamental painters and having trained at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bilbao under the painter Anselmo Guinea, in 1893 Larroque was awarded a grant by the Provincial Government of Biscay to further his studies in Paris. During the following three years he attended the Académie Julien and was taught by Eugène Carrière; coming into contact with the latest artistic trends he produced this painting. Upon completing his sojourn in Paris and according to the rules of the grant, Larroque submitted the work to the School of Arts and Crafts in Bilbao, from where it eventually made its way to the Museum's collection.  [S.A.]

Selected bibliography:

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. 70.

Emakumearen irudia : bestelako begiratu bat = La imagen de la mujer : otra mirada. [Cat. exp.]. Vitoria-Gasteiz : Diputación Foral de Álava, 2003, pp. 60-61.

Javier González de Durana Isusi. Ángel Larroque : un pintor, el olvido y la memoria [cat.]. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2003, pp. 22-23, 27, 66, 70, 81-83, 92, 94, 97-99, 107, ilustración de portada, n. º 1.

Santiago Arcediano. Guía de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008 (1ª ed. 2008; ed. inglés), pp. 64- 65, n.º 29, ad vocem.

De Goya a Gauguin : el siglo XIX en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao [cat.]. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2008.

Santiago Arcediano. 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), p. 142, n.º 99, ad vocem.

Annotated works