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Leapfrogging

Josep Maria Sert1931

Fundación Banco Santander

Fundación Banco Santander

In this series, devoted to popular folk customs and fiestas, Sert naturally included a sequence on traditional games, although this is not the first occasion on which they appear in his oeuvre. Similar subjects are to be seen in early works that bear little relationship to the present commission, such as The Four Seasons and Wonderful Memories, both of Oriental inspiration. The subject of leapfrogging depicted here is to be seen in the spectacular series on Spanish Cities that Sert painted in the early 1920s but it would not become the principal subject of a composition until 1927, in the series entitled Evocations of Catalonia that Sert painted as a gift for his friend Francesc Cambó. The repetition of themes and motifs is characteristic of Sert’s oeuvre and the artist did not hesitate to return to earlier ideas when necessary. Repetition and self-reference are ways in which artists locate themselves within the grand tradition of art history, particularly in the field of decorative painting. They are also a procedure through which the motif becomes decorative by force of repetition. This practice also casts light on the working method of decorative painting studios, in which forms and motifs were reused on occasions without any modification and possibly in order to save time. In contrary to what might be expected, clients accepted this practice and saw it as a kind of “stamp” of authenticity.

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  • Title: Leapfrogging
  • Date Created: 1931
  • Place Part Of: Spain
  • Physical Dimensions: w2200 x h4200 mm (Complete)
  • Painter: Josep Maria Sert
  • Exhibition: Madrid, Spain
  • Credit Line: This panel is from the series Camacho’s Wedding, painted by Sert for one of the gala dining rooms in the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Fundación Banco Santander, www.fundacionbancosantander.com
  • External Link: Fundación Banco Santander
  • Medium: Gold and black grisaille on canvas panel

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