Julio Romero de Torres (1874-1930)
This year's Bridging Europe programme promises plenty of Spanish flair. One of the most interesting productions will be the dance show focusing on the heritage of Andalusia as seen through the passionate life of Spanish symbolist painter Julio Romero de Torres. In this exhibition, Müpa Budapest presents prints of some of the artist's paintings along with a look at the ups and downs of his career.
Picasso wasn't the only Spanish painter to share his father's profession: Cordova's Julio Romero de Torres also received the same paternal inheritance. In addition to serving as director of the city's academy of art, his father Rafael Romero Barros was one of the foremost representatives of the costumbrismo school, which looked to local motifs and aspects of everyday life as its subjects. This early upbringing led the young artist to spend his childhood steeped in both the institution's pictures and Andalusian culture. After learning to paint under his father's tutelage, Torres travelled throughout Europe, encountering the different artistic trends that were flourishing everywhere he went. He later developed his own unique - metaphysically inspired - symbolist style of painting. It wasn't only the songs of Andalusia - the flamenco music combining Moorish, Jewish and Gypsy roots - that captivated him. He was also enchanted by the women. Nearly all of his pictures depict allegorical female figures in various poses and settings, and with recurring props. Sometimes their gaze is full of melancholy. Sometimes it smoulders with repressed passion. They can often be seen holding a guitar, an orange or a mirror. Or perhaps a prayer book or a volume of verse. And they also might be wearing the Spanish veil of black lace, the mantilla.