Nicolau Raurich

Barcelona 1871 - Barcelona 1945

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Raurich was one of the most personal and distinctive landscape painters of Spanish painting of the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th, and a key representative of post-impressionism. After leaving the family business, he focused on artistic training, first at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona and then as a disciple of Eliseu Meifrén (1859–1940). Animated by the successes of 1892, he participated in the IV Centenary Exhibition of the Discovery of Puerto Rico, in San Juan, with two works that served him to consolidate in the international artistic landscape. At the end of 1894 he settled in Rome, where he was part of the colony of Spanish painters. There he specialized in portraying the Pontine Lagoons, following the painting of Enric Serra (1859-1918) and the romantic aesthetic that entronced with Central European painting. Precisely, this type of works — such as Pantanos de Nemi (1896), Ruinas de Ninfa (1896) or Fangal (1897)— meant the definitive consecration of the painter to the official events. Awarded and recognized, he returned to Barcelona definitively in March 1898, and focused on portraying Catalan landscapes. At that time, his style was transformed and he abandoned the neoromantic approach to lighting, with new pictorial formulas. Thus, from 1899, the Costas de Pineda, the thick patches, the relief and the aggressive colors were incorporated into his work as main characteristics. Interest in the values of the pictorial matter became the artist’s obsession, something the production never abandoned. The expressiveness of the landscapes was the main attraction of this new stage of Raurich, in which the Pyrenean visions, the views of Sant Pol de Mar and the nightlife of great intensity were the recurring themes and the ones that worked best in the Catalan art market. During the first decade of the 20th century, he achieved his main awards and medals (Madrid, Paris, Athens, Barcelona) and remained faithful to his personal style, which meant a renewal of post-impressionist painting in Spain. From 1936 he reclaimed himself in his home-studio, where he continued to paint, away from the local and international artistic circuit. His work became decadent and, sometimes, dark. The matter so well constructed in previous years was diluted, thus losing all personality. He died in June 1945, isolated, sick and locked in his room.