The painting The Intellectuals of my Village refers back to other works by Ramón de Zubiaurre of similar subject matter, openly expressing the artist's ironic sense of humour. In this picture two groups of villagers on different planes strike up a lively conversation as if they were "learned" personalities. The title of the work refers to the playful attitude of the characters, who are consulting enormous books in a rural setting, dressed in country clothes and top hats. In this composition drawing is used to silhouette the figures and colour is characterised by a modern conception and a highly personal palette. Clearly narrative and filled with ethnographic values, the work is a fine example of documentary genre painting reinforced by the still life to the right.
While his career and his interests as an artist were very similar to those of his elder brother Valentín, Ramón de Zubiaurre is considered a bolder and more modern painter. His extensive production enabled him to hold exhibitons in Spain, Europe and America to great acclaim. Over the course of time, the stylistic and conceptual differences in the oeuvre of the Zubiaurre brothers became more pronounced as they evolved from Realist to more Symbolist premises. [S.A.]
Miriam Alzuri; Santiago Arcediano. Guía de Artistas Vascos. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008 (1ª ed. 2008; ed. inglés), pp. 84- 85, n.º 39, ad vocem.
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. 147, n.º 103, ad vocem.