Inscribed by hand on the verso with title, measures and reference FW624. Also certified and signed by the artist’s daughter, Roberta González, on the verso.
Phillipe Grimminger has confirmed the authenticity of this work and it is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Julio González Administration, Paris.
Though González is best known for his sculptures, his drawings were central to his artistic practice; he was a passionate draughtsman and was never without pencil and paper. As a result of his interest in the works of Puvis de Chavannes and Edgar Degas, González’s early works on paper consisted of figurative watercolors and pastels and images of women variously at toilette, asleep, or ironing. His chief responsibility as Picasso’s assistant was translating Picasso’s drawings into sculpture. In fact, González ultimately viewed abstract sculptural work in iron as a way of drawing three-dimensionally: “In the disquietude of the night the stars seem to show us points of hope in the sky […] It is these points in the infinite which are precursors of the new art: To draw in space.”
This work on paper features trees of varying heights with black outlines enclosing leaves rendered in blue and green tones as well as brown trunks in a meadow or stretch of grass. Black lines in the sky are perhaps suggestive of wind and a full yellow sun shines serenely. It was created in the early 1920s, during the context of the emergence of Noucentisme in Catalunya and the influx of avant-garde movements from Europe. Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Gonzalez’s close friend, was at the forefront of the former, a movement which called for a return to classicism and a rejection of bohemian lifestyles. It was closely intertwined with politics and was marked by an interest in order, nature, and the integration of art into everyday spaces. The movement was also influenced by Impressionism. In this work, the artist’s love of nature is apparent; the Catalan landscape in particular was always a vastly important source of inspiration for artists native to the area. There is the sense of a rapid execution in line with Impressionism, perhaps even en plein air. Overall, the work is evocative of peace and a love of the landscape rendered quickly and fluidly.
Estate of Julio González Private collection, Barcelona Private collection, New York
Josette Gibert, Julio González. Dessins: Catalogue Raisonné. Paysages. Paris: Editions Carmen Martinez, 1975, illustrated in black and white, p. 66. Tomàs Llorens Serra, Julio González: catálogo general razonado de las pinturas, esculturas y dibujos, Vol. IV, Madrid: Fundación Azcona; Valencia: IVAM, Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, 2019, cat. no. 2160, illustrated in black and white, p. 57.