Still Life

Friday, September 9, 2016

Notebook sketches, Pedraza

Pedraza is a small, medieval, walled village in the province of Segovia, northwest of Madrid. It sits atop a hill overlooking the rolling Castilian landscape.


It has a castle which is visible in the image above towards the right background. It was originally built in the 1300s, rebuilt in the 1500s and after a long history of change of owners, it fell into a sad state of ruin and was bought in 1926 by the painter Ignacio Zuloaga who renovated one of its towers and transformed it into his studio. It now houses a museum showcasing his work as well as Flemish still lifes from the 17th century, an El Greco original as well as one of Goya. Not bad as an attraction for a little-known village forgotten by time.


Ignacio Zuloaga Zabaleta
Spanish Basque born in Eibar, Guipuzcoa in 1870 and died in Madrid in 1945.
(With a name like that, it´s safe to say he was probably last in his class´ roll call)

He was a contemporary of Sorolla,  completely different in vision, style, and brushwork. The Valencian painter, I think, received more international acclaim and is always mentioned in the same breath as Sargent and Zorn. But we must´t overlook this artist from the same era-- here are some of his works:




I visited Pedraza the other day with family and was able to do some watercolour sketches in my notebook. It´s a pretty little village and definitely worth the visit if only for the castle and the medieval jailhouse.









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