AG3 copia

Mother and child back to town at dusk

Oil on canvas signed.

Modest Urgell Inglada
Circa 1886
76,5 x 46,5 cm
Retail price
5.000,00 €

Oil on canvas signed. Modest Urgell began his career as a theatrical actor, but the family prohibition to follow that path led him to devote himself to painting. He studied at the Escuela de La Lonja in Barcelona, where he was a disciple of Ramón Martí Alsina, and later spent some time in Paris, where he met Gustave Courbet and became a follower of realism.


During the sixties, his works were rejected in the official exhibitions of Madrid and Barcelona. In 1870 he moved to Olot, where he became acquainted with Joaquín Vayreda, creator of the local landscape school. From then on, Urgell decided to devote himself fully to landscape painting. His work would focus on solitary natures and seascapes, often featuring hermitages and cemeteries, marked by a twilight, desolate and mysterious atmosphere.

From 1896 he taught landscape painting at the School of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi in Barcelona, being appointed academician in 1902. He was also founder of the Artistic and Literary Society of Catalonia, as well as the Artistic and Archaeological Museum of Girona. He also devoted himself to literature, with a special interest in theater. The sum of his two passions, art and literature, are expressed in his album “Catalunya” (1905), made up of more than one hundred drawings accompanied by texts written by himself.

His landscapes have an atmosphere, a color and themes that deny the stereotype of the Mediterranean landscape, based on warm and friendly natures, of brilliant chromatism, like windows open to the southern sensuality. His paintings, on the contrary, speak of melancholy and loneliness, and time and again recreate a desolate and sad Catalonia to which, years later, the poet Salvador Espriu would also be sensitive.

His language rejects any fanciful or picturesque theme, picking up current issues without trying to ennoble or idealize them, but seeking to provoke moods in the viewer through twilight lights that dissolve, for brief moments, in harmony of reds, or his desolate cemeteries and severe seascapes, naked and stripped.

Urgell is represented in the Prado Museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Maritime Museum of Barcelona, the Kunsthalle of Hamburg, the Víctor Balaguer Museum of Vilanova i la Geltrú, the Art Funds of the Caixa Sabadell and the Caixa d’Estalvis de Terrassa, the Dalí Museum in Figueras and the Provincial Museums of Gerona, Palma de Mallorca and Lugo, among many other centers and institutions.

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