Julio Romero de Torres born in Cordoba, Spain (1874-1930) was one of Spain’s leading artists in the first half of the 20th century. His imagery is deeply rooted in Andalusian women and his poetic imagination for his love of his culture. His work has been viewed by critics as cliché-ridden themes. Today, however, critics are beginning to concentrate on other, more relevant features of his paintings, in particular his personal reading of Symbolism and the remarkable eclectic nature of his sources of inspiration.
Julio learned about painting from his father Rafael Romero Barros who was an impressionist painter and the director, curator and founder of Cordoba’s Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes. At the age of 10 Julio began studying art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. While living in Cordoba he became part of the late 19th century intellectual movement that was based on the Royal Academy of Science, Arts and Literature. In 1906 he went to Madrid to work and study. He traveled all over Europe to study and developed a symbolist style that would become what he is most well known for. When the war broke out in 1914 Julio Romero fought for the allies as a pilot. After the war in 1916 he became a professor of Clothing Design in the School of fine arts in Madrid. He spent most of life traveling between Madrid and Cordoba which had significant influences on is work. He won numerous awards in his lifetime.
Torres was best known for his portraits of women, and his symbolic images of flamenco dancers and musicians. He caused a great scandal with his “hyper-realistic nudes,” and in 1906 the National Exhibition of Fine Arts banned his Vivadoras del amor. For the people of this region of Spain, de Torres is a folk hero.
In 1922 he traveled to the Argentine Republic with his brother Enrique. He later became ill and returned to Cordoba to recover. His condition continued to deteriorate. Julio Romero de Torres died on May 10, 1930 at the age of 55. After his death his family donated a collection of painting in his honor to the city of Cordoba. In 1931 the Julio Romero de Torres Museum was created to house his legacy.
The images below are of oil paintings by Julio Romero de Torres, spanning from 1917 through 1928.
| Alegrias, 1917
|| Angeles, 1928
|| Viva El Pelo, 1928