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Catalan artists in Mallorca

The second half of the 19th Century and the early 20th Century were the beginning of one of the most popular periods in Majorcan painting. The artists of that time were amazed at its beauty and its landscapes, so they rushed to capture both elements in their work. The arrival of the Catalan artists Santiago Rusiñol and Joaquim Mir in Mallorca launched the Impressionism in the island.

The island of Mallorca, an inspiration source for Catalan artists

Santiago Rusiñol found in Mallorca not just the necessary calm and relief to recover his health, but all the light that his works required. He had an intense stay on the island, where he discovered the landscape, composed and interpreted according to his own criteria. Fascinated by its nature, its patios, its light, its water and its calm, he began to express through painting his way of feeling the place: his works are not garish, neither its colours nor shapes. The artist lived an idyllic time there, far away from the industrial and materialistic society that he so much refused. He was seduced by Mallorca, where he came back on several occasions, one of them with his friend and professional colleague Joaquim Mir.

Joaquim Mir, father of Majorcan Impressionism

According to Joaquim Mir, everything in life could be reduced to a landscape’s colour and line. He was so obsessed with his arrival to Mallorca and the discovery of its light that he focused on that by displaying an endless colours palette, resulting from its personal interpretation of nature. His brushstrokes lengthened and became spots that almost made objects and spatial references disappear, taking his work near abstraction, by reducing the formal structure until it almost vanished. Some of these works has been sold at Balclis painting online auctions. Mir became a milestone in Mallorca, where he had such an influence over local artists that we must consider him as the father of Majorcan Impressionism.

Other Catalan artists in Mallorca

Eliseo Meifrén also experienced a period of artistic maturity on the island. Majorcan sky became a living dynamic element, which he treated with a wide range of shades, mostly in green, blue and grey. He painted its waters and clouds with strong and expressive brushstrokes that transmitted a new energy. Meifrén, who was probably the most well travelled among all of the artists of that time, became nevertheless a great reference in Mallorca, where he spent several periods.

We cannot finish without mentioning Anglada Camarasa, the epitome of landscape in Pollença. His landscapes of the island, where he lived for more than 30 years, convey a harmony which make them extraordinary. The Catalan artist lived in front of the sea and dedicated his brushstrokes to the seaside he used to see from home, capturing details of the sea, the rocks and the trees, of the Mediterranean light and of the cloudy skies in Spring and Autumn. He worked from natural observation, with little study’s retouch, and thus he transformed his work from the previous decorative style to a colourful realism that was almost magic. His trace also left a flourishing school of creators, sons of the most vivid post-Impressionism.