by Frederico Beltran-Masses


MEDIUM: Oil on canvas
DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 24.0 x 29.0 inches/61.0 x 73.7 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed and titled (lower left)


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    Catalogue No: 6891 Categories: ,

    Beltrán Masses was renowned as a master of colour and the psychological portrait. The painter’s Spanish heritage would influence his oeuvre deeply. His paintings are rich with musical and poetic references influenced by Greek mythology and his own travels and background.

    Private Collection, USA

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    Beltran Masses was born in Cuba in 1885, although his family was of Catalan origin. He spent his youth in Barcelona where he began to train as an artist. Later he went to live in Madrid, training with the Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. He married fellow painter Irene Narezo Dragoné, and together the couple moved to Paris from 1916 until 1946.

    Masses had many exhibitions in Paris and his work began to be recognised and admired amongst the public. In 1920, the XII Biennal of Venice hosted an exhibition for Masses which furthered Masses career.

    Beltrán Masses also benefited from the enthusiastic support of the critics Arsène Alexandre, an early admirer of Rodin and Seurat and Louis Vauxcelles, who had first used the word Fauvism and invented the adjective Cubism. The poet, novelist and critic Camille Mauclair, an advocate for the symbolist movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries also praised Beltrán Masses.

    Beltrán Masses was renowned as a master of colour and the psychological portrait. The painter’s Spanish heritage would influence his oeuvre deeply while he sometimes referenced the tropical exoticism of Cuba in the settings for some of his subjects. His paintings are rich with musical and poetic references influenced by ‘Greek mythology and his own travels.

    In his solo exhibition in New York in 1924, Beltran met R.W. Hearts who became a collector of his work. He painted a number of members of American Dynasties including the Rothschilds, the Morgans and the Forbes, and film stars including Pola Negri, Marion Davies, D. Fairbanks, Joan Crawford and Valentino.


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