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Francisco Itturino - Self portrait

Francisco Gonzales de Iturrino

Spanish  post-impressionist painter
(1864 -1924)

Born in Santander (Spanish "Pays Basque"), Iturrino became the peer of Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh.  He was a great admirer of Pierre-Auguste Renoir and established himself in Cagnes­sur­Mer (France) where he died in 1924.

As a young man he moved with his family to Bilbao. He travelled to Belgium in 1883 to study engineering but ended up studying life drawing in Brussels in 1890. On his return to Spain he travelled through Andalusia, Salamanca and other parts of the country, choosing local models that he painted as an exercise in the exploration of colour.

In 1895 he travelled to Paris, to which he returned on numerous occasions; his most fruitful period there was from 1901 to 1908. He belongs to the generation of Toulouse-Lautrec with whom he becomes friends and of Evenepoel (Belgian painter and printmaker) who did a painting representing Iturrino entitled L’Espagnol à Paris (The Spaniard In Paris), Musée de Gand.

Iturrino was one of the first artists to be under Vollard’s patronage, which then seemed to have lost interest in him and did not evoke him in his Souvenirs (memories).

In Paris he met Picasso (who painted his portrait), exhibiting with him at the Galerie Vollard in 1901. He exhibited with him at Berthe Weill like Zuloaga, Nonell, Losada.

He also befriended Matisse and travelled with him to Seville (1909) and Tangiers (1911). He exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris in 1903 and 1911 and took part in the Arte Moderno exhibitions in Bilbao (1900, 1905 and 1910), returning to Spain during World War I.

In typical paintings such as Malaga Garden (1913) and the undated Nudes in a Landscape and Girls with Flowers (all Madrid, Mus. A. Contemp.) he contrasted vigorous lines and forms with light colours. Giving particular importance to draughtsmanship and the play of light, he produced landscapes characterized by great expressive strength.

Sophie Monneret L'Impressionisme et son Epoque, Dictionnaire International. Published by Robert Laffont. Volume A to T
E. Lafuente Ferrari and J. de la Puente: Francisco Iturrino (Madrid, 1976)

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