Isadora Duncan and Josep Clarà

Josep Clarà's muse is revealed in his drawings.

Isadora Duncan. Ave Maria (1927) by Josep ClaràMuseu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona

Josep Clarà was a Catalan sculptor of the early 20th century. Born into a humble family, he studied art in Olot with Josep Berga i Boix at the Toulouse School of Fine Art. In 1900, he moved to Paris where he met fellow sculptors Arístides Maillol and Auguste Rodin.

Josep Clarà and Isadora Duncan

His sculpture The Goddess was a formal indication of his talent. His friendship with the dancer Isadora Duncan sparked some of his most original and spontaneous drawings.

Isadora Duncan dancing Ave Maria (1927) by Josep ClaràMuseu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona

Isadora Duncan and Clarà had a loving, platonic friendship. She was a source of inspiration for many of his works and the protagonist of many of his sketches, including the dancer depicted in Schubert'sAve Maria.

Isadora Duncan. The Bacchanal of Tannhäuser (1927) by Josep ClaràMuseu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona

The museum is also home to other drawings by Clarà with the dancer interpreting Military March, also by Schubert, Tannhäuser'sBacchanal...

Isadora Duncan. Iphigénie de Gluck (1927) by Josep ClaràMuseu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona

...and Gluck's Iphigénie. Josep Clarà also drew Isadora Duncan dancing to Chopin.

Isadora Duncan and Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric Chopin and Isadora Duncan, known as the poet of the piano and the poet of dance respectively, formed a transporting but non-contemporary relationship through Duncan's devotion to the works of the romantic genius and his many choreographies.

Dancing with tension to emotive tones, Duncan's dances with Chopin became the benchmark for modernism, which embraced the human expression of feelings from the tragic to the ecstatic, from the heroic to the sublime.

Isadora became famous around the world for dancing the whole of Chopin's repertoire with the most renowned pianistic exponents of her time. Chopin Evenings were dance concerts with musical interludes, danced solely to the Polish maestro's piano music.

Rest (1929) by Josep ClaràMuseu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona

Clarà's sculptures

Josep Clarà also turned his hand to busts and portraits, with an increasing focus on light. His sculptures became more simple and free of all sentiment. It was within this new vision, in 1928, that he recast The Goddess and Serenity and created Rest, which earned him the medal of honour at the Barcelona International Exhibition (1929).

Bloom (1936) by Josep ClaràMuseu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - MNAC, Barcelona

In 1936, he created one of his best words of art, by blending simplicity, light and serenity: Pujanza, and Figure of a woman in 1941.

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