Martin Rico and his love affair with Venice.
Among the best finisecular landscape painters of the 19th century, Martín Rico stands out , who, as a pioneer in the introduction of the realistic landscape in Spain, gave rise to the modernity of the genre in our country. During his more than 40 years of experience, he captured the beauty of all the places he traveled, being especially fascinated by the magic of Venice. In his brushes, innumerable views of the city were reflected, among which is the delicious oil painting that we will tender in Setdart next April 15. The discovery of the city of the canals meant the full consolidation of the style of Martín Rico, which, as exemplified in this work, is born from the perfect balance between the smoothness of execution, the fineness of the capture of light and the chromatic qualities
After a few beginnings marked by the influence of realism that he was able to know during his first stay in Paris and in which the mark of the Barbizon School can be appreciated, his work evolved towards a much more refined technique that will give light to the style of his style more characteristic. When the Franco-Prussian war broke out, the painter left Paris to settle in Granada at the invitation of his friend Mariano Fortuny. Together with him, he will develop a taste for vibrant color, luminosity and precious virtuosity, coming to be nicknamed as the Daubigy I sunk myself . It was also together with Fortuny, with whom he will make his first trip to Italy, discovering cities such as Rome, Naples or Verona. However, Vencia will be the city that captivates you like no other and with which you will give life to your best works. Each and every one of its corners will be unveiled at the hands of Rico, immortalizing the incomparable beauty of its canals, bridges, streets and monuments, as in the work at hand. The infinite plastic and aesthetic possibilities that the city offers him, pushed him to leave his workshop to paint in the open air and thus capture in all its splendor the peculiarities of its magical atmosphere and environment.
In Venice, Rico enjoyed a privileged position, getting to rub shoulders with artists of the stature of Sargent or Whistler . His views of Venice were also the ones that brought him a brilliant success in the art market, becoming one of the most sought-after painters of the late nineteenth century. His works were sold practically effortlessly, especially among collectors of the American bourgeoisie, for whom Venice represented the quintessential city of European refinement.
In the work at hand, Rico manages to stop time in a fleeting moment of daily life in the city. The scene, completely bathed in the midday light, offers us an image of the activity developed around the small jetty located in the foreground, in which, imbued by the enveloping atmospheric effects, we can almost feel and breathe the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere of the environment. . Together with the luminosity and ease of his brushstroke, the color will overflow on each of the elements in infinite nuances that only increase the vivid character that emerges from the scene.
The trajectory of Martín Rico, whose artistic legacy represents one of the most beautiful testimonies of the idiosyncrasy of Venetian life, will forever remain united to the Italian city that gave birth to its best version.