Piñole was profoundly attached to his native Gijón but from 1894 onwards was a regular visitor to Madrid, having spent time as a student in the city that year. This interesting urban view dates from one of those trips. It was included in an exhibition in France of which no further details are known with the imprecise title A Street in Madrid. It is relatively exceptional within Pinazo’s oeuvre given that, as his biographer Carantoña noted, “His works inspired by Madrid were slight sketches or jottings of urban subjects […] which were rarely transformed into more ambitious compositions.” In this canvas some ox carts cross the Plaza de la Cibeles with the gardens of the War Ministry in the background. The middle-ground is occupied by a horse-drawn carriage, an early motor car, a rider, a few pedestrians and a couple of trams, which are little more than suggested.
The art historian Enrique Lafuente’s collection included a watercolour given to him by the artist, which is the preparatory study, with few variants, for this remarkable oil.
In this work Piñole reveals himself as an essentially unacademic painter. He abandons his customary skilled realism to produce a work in a highly personal, Post-impressionist manner that was only deployed in Spain by a very few painters, the majority of them Catalans and Basques.