This is a work which is highly representative of the painter’s mature period. After the large 1905 murals for the Círculo de la Amistad de Córdoba (Córdoba Circle of Friendship) – with female allegories of the Arts - he forsook his Realist beginnings to move on to a symbolism which, during the following decade, acquired special characteristics, until its culmination in the group presented in the special gallery dedicated to him at the 1915 National Exhibition.

In this great painting, also known as Paisaje abierto al barandal de la Ribera (Open Landscape to the Railing on the River Bank, which serves as a background), formal and conceptual elements clearly appear that define the most typical works by the painter from Cordoba.

Women had become the almost exclusive protagonists of Romero de Torres’ work. He chose his models from among gypsies, actresses or Flamenco singers, whose unique beauty attracted him. The one to the right of this painting seems to be María Dolores Fernández Heredia (1888-1976), known as “Amalia the Gypsy”, who was the painter’s favourite from 1910 to 1920. He usually portrayed tall thin women, dark-skinned and with black hair gathered at the nape of their neck, sometimes nude or semi-nude. However, on several other occasions (such as this one), they appear in dresses with tight busts and long skirts that fall in vertical pleats, with shawls, scarcely-visible silk stockings and high-heeled shoes lined with satin. The sensuality that they exude is counteracted and cooled by their inscrutable attitudes, their engrossed or distant expressions and the melancholic seriousness that they imperturbably show.


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