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Spain • 1861−1931
Santiago Rusinhol-i-Prats (February 25, 1861, Barcelona - June 13, 1931, Aranjuez) - Spanish artist, writer, poet and playwright, one of the leaders of the Catalan modernist movement.

Features of the artist Santiago Rusinol: Santiago Rusignol's talent was very multifaceted, and his works reflected all the new trends that developed in art at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Rusignol created portraits, landscapes, genre scenes, while he was a poet-painter of Catalonia: original, universal and tireless. There is always a romantic feel to his paintings, especially in the depictions of the deserted gardens that have made him famous from Barcelona to Venice and Paris. According to Rusiñol, "Gardens are a landscape represented in verse."

Santiago Rusinol became one of the co-owners of the famous artistic cafe "Four cats", which brought together leading artists, architects, writers and musicians of Barcelona. Thanks to Rusinol and his friend Ramon Casas, the Western European traditions of modernism and symbolism are firmly entrenched in Spanish painting.

Rusinol is also known as the author of numerous plays, dramas and comedies, the main leitmotif of which is the struggle between ideals and commonness, and the main reception is the “good old” satire.

Famous paintings by artist Santiago Rusinol: "The charm of the gardens", "Gardens of Aranjuez", "Portrait of Ramon Casas".

Santiago Rusinol was born in Barcelona, in a wealthy family of industrialists. Textile production was of little interest to a teenager who was fond of painting and dreamed of distant countries. Rusinol, being self-taught, enrolled at the Watercolor Center in Barcelona, where his teacher was one of the founders of the Center, Thomas Moragas.

In 1886, Rusinol met in Barcelona with Ramon Casasa novice portrait painter from a rich family; their friendship was strong and continued for many years. Other artists became their social circle, which later became famous - Eugene carriere, Pierre de Chavannes, Ignacio Zuloaga. In 1887, the grandfather of Rusinol died. This completely changed the artist's life: he was not only freed from the influence and prestige of the head of the family and dissociated himself from the family business, but also separated from his wife, Louise Denis, whom he had married a year earlier. From now on, Rusinol devoted himself entirely to creativity and painting.

A great influence on the development of arts in Spain had the World Exhibition, held in Barcelona in 1888. The desire to get away from bourgeois eclecticism, the experiences of architects with new forms and materials, the use of forged elements, Arabic motifs in the architectural solutions of Gaudi and his colleagues, a protest against classicism - all this gave a huge impetus to the development of new trends. And it was consonant with the mood of the public - otherwise no one would place orders for new houses, in which the classics were replaced by smooth flow lines, natural elements and floral style. Innovations have found a warm response in the hearts of the Spanish artists of the new generation, among whom was Rusinol and his friends.

In 1889, as the staff of the Catalan Excursions Association, Rusinol and Casas made a great journey through Catalonia, during which another Rusinol talent was established - the writers. Friends worked together on an illustrated guide: Rusinol wrote the texts, and Casas created the drawings. Like Casas, Rusignol was closely associated with the magazine l'Avenç, which covered various cultural issues and was strongly influenced by modernism. He also collaborated in three other Catalan art and literary magazines that his friend Casas published.

After Catalonia, friends went to Paris. Here they rented an apartment in Montmartre, not far from the famous Moulin de la Galette mills. In the neighborhood lived their comrades - Maurice Utrillo, Ignacio Zuloaga and graphic artist Ramon Canudas. Fascinated by impressionism, Rusinol drew a lot: landscapes, portraits, sketches on urban themes ... He also collaborated with the newspaper La Vanguardia, writing several articles for her, in particular Letters from the Mill, which in 1897 were published as a separate book Impressions of Art . Rusinol translated the works of Charles Baudelaire, the founder of aesthetics of decadence and symbolism, into Spanish, he also wrote several books and plays in the Catalan language, in particular, the book The Abandoned Garden (1900) - perhaps the most symbolic work of Rusignol. After a trip to Andalusia in 1896, Rusinol plunged into the image of the beauties of nature, transformed by man - he began to paint gardens, most of which were deserted. It was the paintings with beautiful gardens that made Rusilol famous as an artist.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, new art was in demand everywhere. Santiago Rusinol returned to his native Barcelona, where he contributed a great deal to the revival of artistic life, having organized with his three friends - Per Romeu, Ramon Casas and Maurice Utrillo - artistic cafe. In the image and likeness of the Parisian cafe "Black Cat" in the center of Barcelona, in the house of Marty opened the institution "Four cats" - "Els Quatre Gats", named so by the number of concession artists. "Four cats" attracted the most avant-garde artists and writers. The cafe became a platform for art exhibitions, in particular, the first exhibitions of the young Pablo Picasso.

In 1891, Santiago Rusinol for the first time came to the small fishing village of Sitges, located 40 kilometers from Barcelona. Beautiful views, friendly inhabitants, warm sea ... Sitges is deeply sunk into the soul of Rusinol, it was here that he formed his theory of art. Two years later, he returned and bought a small house on the shore, on the site of which he built for himself the house-workshop of Kau Ferrat. A passionate collector, Rusinol transferred to Sitges his collections of forged products and glass, gifts from artist friends and personally bought paintings. Gradually, the house became “narrow in the shoulders,” and Rusinol bought another house next door. Thanks to the enthusiasm of Rusinol and the numerous festivals in modernist style that he organized, Sitges quickly became the center of attraction for artists, writers and other representatives of Spanish bohemia. After the death of the artist in 1931, his house was transferred to the municipality of Sitges, and in 1933, Kau Ferrat became a museum that still works today.
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