Una venta (La Venta de la Trinidad - Inn at La Trinidad).
Oil on canvas
63.5 x 93.5 cm.
This costumbrista scene portrays the atmosphere around an inn at a crossroad, an ideal setting for José Elbo to recreate a moment experienced with rapid execution and delightful spontaneity, where the freeness of the moment prevails over the purist task of the painter who approaches the work from studied observation.
The work is a feast of characters, horses, and rural hustle and bustle around the inn. His interpretation of folklore, as Calvo Serraller states, distances him from the usual topics of his time: not so much because of the common theme of herds of cattle, threshing and local fiestas but because his landscapes are bathed in diffused clarity, a contrast of light which comes close to central European costumbrismo. The refined technique with its thematic purity give it a special place in the pictorial panorama of the first half of the 19th Century.
Elbo's composition in the inn has a low horizontal line helping to bring to the fore the scenery, the blue and violet sky, which according to Miguel Viribay is the colourful country which Elbo came to know in the silent misty hills of his native Úbeda, changeable depending on the time of day.
It is a small format painting, which led some critics to include Elbo in the group of "small masters" because of the size of their works, shunning the monumental, or classical-style conventionalism.
For many Rafael Botí was a painter who brought Cordoban painting into modern times. He was a musician and painter and from his early works a clear tendency to brightness and the joy of colour can be seen - more contained than in his master Vázquez Díaz but just as intense.
He was a key figure in the renewal movement in Spanish art in the first half of the 20th century. He was one of the Fauves, first with a passion for colour and then a first class neocubist. He contributed to modernising art in his day.
This landscape on the mountains of the Guadarrama reflects the characteristic traits of his painting in which light and colours are reflected, to some extent missing in the real world. Botí represents landscape by exalting peace and harmony from a beauty which irradiates inner balance, magic and goodwill. This is in harmony with the chromatic tones close to music, his other great passion.
Cézanne's cubist influence, often present in his paintings, can be seen in this work, albeit with somewhat more colour. It also reflects a colour influenced by Matisse, which he kept throughout his career.
The works belongs to 1971, his final period, without abandoning the figurative, he develops greater technical agility, visible in the way he applies the brushstroke.