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Landscape with a flock of sheep
Martí Alsina, Ramón
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Martí Alsina, Ramón

Barcelona (Spain), 1826 - Barcelona, 1894

See author's file

Landscape with a flock of sheep

1870 - 1878. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

Ramón Martí Alsina trained as an artist within the spirit of Romanticism. However, after several visits to Paris from 1855 onwards, he came into contact with French realist painting and thereafter became one of the channels for the renewal of landscape painting in Spain. Together with Carlos de Haes and Martín Rico, Martí Alsina was one of the painters who introduced realism to Spain and was the movement´s most prominent representative in Catalonia.In his mature period, the streams known as rieres in Catalonia, a number of which were found along the coast, were one of Martí Alsina´s preferred subjects. He frequently painted the riera of Argentona, near the railway line between Barcelona and Mataró on which the artist typically travelled. This sort of landscape afforded him the opportunity to capture, as in this painting, wide panoramas, depicted with an objective gaze, into which he could introduce very diverse elements. For instance, here he presents a complex series of planes receding into the distance, finding particular delight in the succession of hills and layered cloud effects. The oblique strip representing the stream and its banks unifies the sequence, endowing the image with a sense of depth. The scene is enlivened by the presence of a shepherd with his flock. Martí Alsina presents the diverse qualities of the landscape´s constituent elements -from the rocks in the stream to the trees- in a very precise manner. He would instruct his students to learn geographical and botanical matters, to know well, for example, the various species of trees.The main subject of this work is the play of light in the clouds and the way it illuminates the riera and the group of trees prominent on the left. Indeed, through purely painterly effects, the artist has depicted the contrasts observable in the sky and expressed their ability to produce an emotional response. In this he reveals his familiarity with French realist landscape painting along with the landscape tradition from northern Europe, in particular Holland, the tall trees, their crowns exposed to the wind and their trunks illuminated, evoke the works of Jacob van Ruisdael (c.1628-82).This painting is representative of Martí Alsina´s working methods in the 1870s. Unlike his works from the previous decade, which were more impastoed and based on a palette of warm ochres, here the paint is applied thinly, and he demonstrates a preference for cooler tones: the greens and cool ochres being particularly prominent and highlighted with whites and pearl greys. Despite his adherence to realism, Martí Alsina imbues nature with emotion in this vivid panoramic view, something also apparent in his seascapes from this time. As such, the artist remained, even in his mature period, true to a vision whose origins are to be found in Romanticism, to which his more realist style provides nuances that lead his work toward its expressive modernity (Barón, J.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado. Queensland Art Gallery-Museum of Fine Arts, 2012, pp.204-241).

Technical data

Inventory number
Martí Alsina, Ramón
Landscape with a flock of sheep
1870 - 1878
Height: 112 cm; Width: 205 cm
Acquisition, 1985

Bibliography +

Cortada, A., Martí y Alsina, Vell i nou, II, 1920, pp. 46.

Mesta, Trashumancia y Vida Pastoril, I+P Investigacion y Progreso, Madrid, 1994.

Museo del Prado, Últimas adquisiciones: 1982-1995, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996, pp. nº2072.

Chillón Domínguez, M.C, El pintor Ramón Martí Alsina (1826-1894). Contrastos de la seva vida a partir d'una documentació inèdita, i proposta d' un primer catàleg, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, 2010, pp. 243.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane-Houston, 2012, pp. 240-241, nº88.

Díez, J.L. (dir.), Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado. Catálogo general, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 384-385.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2072.
MARTI ALSINA, (Ramón) nº Inv. 2072 / Paisaje cat. 7053 / L 1,12 x 2,05 [Nota en margen izquierdo] Idem idem / en 1.482.740

Inscriptions +

R. Martí y Alsina
Signed. Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

La Mesta
18.09.1994 - 30.11.1994

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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