Click here to access the factsheet

Togores is part of the group of young artists who, around 1917, claimed a space for freedom and modernity within Catalan art, then dominated by the strict classicist guidelines of Noucentisme. After a brief stay in Paris between 1913 and 1914, he decided to settle there in 1919, involved as he was in the new artistic trends. From 1921 (and for eleven years) he had the determined support of the main dealer of Cubism and of the main avant-gardes in vogue, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, thanks to whom Togores’ works were known throughout Europe.

Throughout his long career, Togores displayed an aesthetic situated between tradition and modernity, adapting to what each of the art markets demanded, although without giving up personal pictorial experimentation. The present work, Niña con perro (‘Girl with a dog’), is an example of the quality of the works he produced during the 1930s: centred on the human figure and treated with certain refinement (constructed in clean and rounded lines, and planes that tend towards curved shapes). However, this work reflects a return to the Mediterranean classicism, typical of the most genuine Noucentisme - the result of Togores’ relationship with Aristide Maillol. Nevertheless, at the same time, he has not given up the aforementioned influence of a realism that connected with some examples of German New Objectivity.

The present work is part of a moment of change in the life and career of Togores. We place it at the beginning of the 1930s, during which the painter abandoned the resounding forms of the revision of classicism that he had developed during the previous decade, preferring others that are much more curved and rounded, which provide greater lyricism to the figures. What is represented here is less forceful and much lighter. In addition, between 1932 and 1933, Togores settled again in Barcelona, where he achieved important visibility and commercial success by returning to a friendly figuration and abandoning the abstract adventure of the late twenties in Paris.

As a result of the success he achieved in the French capital, the agreements and help he received from Francesc Cambó, collector and politician, and the exhibitions he held at Sala Parés (December 1926 was the first), Togores had already become one of the most sought-after artists in Barcelona. He quickly and easily adapted to the new context and was one of the most esteemed portrait artists, bending to the demands of traditional art collectors in Barcelona. Girl with a dog is part of that moment, precisely, and is a good example of the type of painting produced by Togores in the portrait genre. In this painting one can observe a return to a refined and more friendly figuration, leaving behind his forceful forms and constructive compositions, characterized by more convoluted intellectual processes.