When, in 1908, Julio Antonio produced María, la gitana he had only arrived in Madrid a year earlier, thanks to a scholarship of the Diputació of Tarragona: he was 18 years old. His mother introduced him to the studio of Miquel Blay.  Blay was an excellent tutor and Julio Antonio worked in his studio until he had acquired the technical skills that Blay was able to teach him. The same year Julio Antonio had set up his first studio in Calle Villanueva in Madrid, with his friend Miquel Viladrich; he lived and worked there and it was here that he produced his first sculpture, María la Gitana, as Ramón Gómez de la Serna describes: “During this time an “uncouth” and picaresque gypsy invaded the studio. Julio Antonio produced the bust of María, la gitana, and drew the elderly relations with the blackest brushstrokes.” María la gitana, estimada que fou pel Pernales obra de Julio Antonio (Mary the gypsy, the lover of Pernales, a work by Julio Antonio) reads the inscription on the sculpture, being the first work to reveal the creative maturity of Julio Antonio, a personalised portrait with a present story, which the artist exhibits with pride and dignity. With this work, Julio Antonio commences the Busts de la Raça, a series of portraits that arose from his interest in seeking direct contact with authentic and archetypal men and women among the population: this is the influence the sculpture received from his friends of the Generation of 98. Rosa M. Ricomà Vallhonrat.


  • Title: Mary the Gypsy
  • Date: 1908 - 1908
  • sculptor: Julio Antonio
  • Physical Dimensions: w54 x h64 x d36 cm
  • Provenance: Diputació de Tarragona-Museu d'Art Modern
  • Type: Lost wax casting in bronze
  • Rights: Diputació de Tarragona. Museu d'Art Modern

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