Santiago Rusiñol Prats Spain

2-25-1861 Barcelona, ESP – 6-13-1931 Aranjuez, ESP

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Prats, Santiago Rusiñol

After leaving school Santiago Rusiñol y Prats worked in his family's textile businesses, but he quickly broke with this family tradition and left to embark upon a career as an artist. Largely self-taught, he developed his own technical capacity in the Centre d'aquarelistes de Barcelona, and was also a follower of Tomas Moragas.

After a visit to Paris in 1889, where he lived in Montmartre with Ramon Casas and Ignacio Zuloaga, his paintings adopted gray tonalities following the manner of Whistler, and became influenced by the Impressionists. His paintings of that period are basically landscapes, urban themes, portraits and also Art Nouveau symbolic compositions. From 1896, after travelling to Andalusia, he started to paint gardens.

When he returned to Barcelona, he became one of the most active developers of the Art Nouveau movement joining artists and avant-garde writers who met in a bar whose name they adopted as their own. He also was linked with "L'avenç," a magazine treating Art Nouveau themes.

The life of Santiago Rusiñol y Prats is strongly linked with the town of Sitges, which he first visited in 1881. Immediately taken with the town, he decided to settle there and bought a house to exhibit his enormous collections of forged iron, glass pieces, pictures and other objects that today are part of the "Cau Ferrat Museum". He also organized the town's famous Modernist festivals.

Santiago Rusiñol y Prats's enthusiasm for Sitges was based on the exceptional natural conditions and beauty of the area, and also because of the existence of an interesting school of painters there named "Escola Luminista," whose members included Joan Batlle i Amell, Felip Massó, Arcadi Mas i Fondevila, Joan Roig i Soler, Joaquim de Miró, and others. In addition to his activities as a painter, he also was a writer of some repute.

Santiago Rusiñol y Prats was also tempted by the theatre. He wrote various plays with enormous success, like "Els Jocs Florals de Canprosa", "El Pati Blau" (1903), and also a large series of dramas, comedies and vaudevilles, culminating in 1917 with the theater version of "L'Auca del Senyor Esteve".

Art Movement: Symbolism, Art Nouveau
Traveled: France
Influenced: Pablo Picasso
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