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The Morphine's Girl

Santiago Rusiñol1894

Cau Ferrat Museum

Cau Ferrat Museum
Sitges, Spain

"In 1894, during his third and last trip to in París, Santiago Rusiñol (Barcelona, 1861 - Aranjuez, 1931) painted two very similar canvases whose protagonist was a very thin and sickly girl. La medalla shows a girl sitting on her bed, looking at a small shiny object she is holding in her hands. In La morfinòmana, the model – who seems different to the previous one – is lying on the bed under the effects of the morphine she has taken.
Despite not being the same size (the first is larger than the second), both paintings capture the before and after of the same sequence. It is for this reason that La medalla is also known as Abans de prendre l’alcaloide (Before Taking the Alkaloid).
The morphine addict in the painting is Stephanie Nantas, the painter’s favourite model during the months he was staying in the apartment in Quai Bourbon. She appears in nearly ten works that Rusiñol produced during anonymously that period. Only the painting that bears the girl’s name: Rêverie (Stephanie Nantas), which the artist wished to keep for his private collection. It can be seen today in the Great Hall."

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