Paintings from the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the San Telmo Museum (19th-20th centuries).
The Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and the San Telmo Museum have acquired many contemporary and ancient works of art of local and foreign origin. They have also supported new artists with scholarships and other benefits. Gordailua preserves paintings and sculptures in different styles from various periods, especially from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The portrait was a fundamental genre in Spanish painting for centuries, but it would be during the 19th century when it would reach wider distribution: the social classes ranging from high aristocracy to the petit-bourgeoisie got used to commissioning portraits, which often served to manifest class pride.
In addition to portraits, landscape was one of the genres that triumphed during the 19th century. During the Romantic period, the ideals of the travelling artist were cultivated, reproducing their own and other people's views. Rather than being faithful, they sought to transmit an archetypal reality, while emphasising a picturesque taste for the diversity of human types.
In the century of novelties, landscape would also undergo constant visual renewal. In Spain, the most noteworthy first steps in this modernisation process were taken by Carlos de Haes, who, from his professorship at the San Fernando Academy, advocated a direct approach to nature through the practice of outdoor painting and the use of clean colours. His tenets were adopted by many of his countless followers, including Eugenio Arruti from Gipuzkoa.
In the last decades of the 19th century, costumbrismo with romantic roots moved towards a more naturalist side thanks to a double influence: Golden Age painting copied at the Museo del Prado in Madrid and compositional innovations learned in the increasingly frequent visits by Basque artists to Paris and Belgium.
The Gipuzkoa Heritage Collection Centre
Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa
Texts: Mikel Lertxundi Galiana