Uruguay Culture

By | December 20, 2021

The only work of some importance, prior to 1850, is the funeral monument of Colonel Bernabé Rivera, in neoclassical style, existing in the Montevideo cemetery. Around 1850 the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Livi arrived in Montevideo, author of the statue of Liberty, placed on the column of Gagancha square, and of the Deposition from the cross, now in the municipal museum. Livi still hesitated between the two dominant trends of his time: he shows himself classic in the first of those two works, while in the second he definitely inclines towards romanticism. On the contrary, Domenech Mora, a Catalan sculptor who settled in Uruguay shortly after Livi, perhaps in 1864, was rather a “costume designer”; its statues and bas-reliefs, of surprising realism, are an exact documentation of the type and dress of the vigorous gauchos. Juan Luis Blanes (1856-1896), son of the painter Juan Manuel Blanes, is probably the first sculptor of Uruguayan origin. His best known work is the statue of Joaquín Suárez, which is reproached for a certain photographic realism. By Nicanor Blanes born in 1857 and who died in Italy in 1894 without leaving traces, there remains only a statue of the cacique Zapicán, full of movement and expression, which is symmetrical with that of Abayubá by his brother Luis in the museum of fine arts. Juan M. Ferrari (1873-1916), son of the Italian sculptor of the same name and surname (one of the Thousand), was a pupil of Ettore Ferrari and Ercole Rosa, and therefore participated in the naturalistic tendencies of his masters. The work that has consecrated his fame is the colossal monument erected near the Argentine city of Mendoza in honor of the Army of the Andes is located on the hill called “the Colle della Gloria” immense composition which has as its object the commemoration of the daring undertaking carried out by the Argentine general San Martín in 1817, when at the head of seven thousand soldiers he climbed the Andes to go free Chile from the Spanish domination, and which as a whole breathes an evident realism. Ferrari died shortly after finishing the gigantic monument, together it breathes an evident realism. Ferrari died shortly after finishing the gigantic monument, together it breathes an evident realism. Ferrari died shortly after finishing the gigantic monument. For Uruguay travel information, please check zipcodesexplorer.com.

Sculpture has recently undergone a significant development in Uruguay, as evidenced by numerous and valuable commemorative monuments that contribute to the embellishment of Montevideo and some other cities in the interior. José Belloni is the author of the superb group entitled La Carretta, located in the Batlle y Ordóñez park in Montevideo: a realistically meticulous sculpture, it is both strong and sober. In the monument to the Gaucho, also in Montevideo José Zorilla de San Martín continues to be a naturalist, but accentuates more impressionism; in his Artigas in Paraguay Zorrilla follows in the footsteps of Rodin, and so Pablo Mañe in the monument dedicated to Baron de Rio Blanco, which stands in Pocitos, but in the interesting bas-reliefs of the base he rather shows the influence of Bourdelle.

Foreign sculptors have carried out important works in Uruguay. Angelo Zanelli demonstrates his talent in the grandiose equestrian statue of Artigas in Piazza dell’Indipendenza. Leonardo Bistolfi enriched the Buceo cemetery with two funeral monuments. In the same necropolis stands a mausoleum sculpted by the Spanish Miguel Blay y Fabregas. By Lorenzo Coullaut Valera, also Spanish, is the monument erected in honor of Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, one of the good decorative compositions of Montevideo.

Currently, a group of young sculptors is no stranger to the spread of “expressionist” theories: and in the art exhibitions there are works that clearly indicate that their authors prefer Mestrović to Rodin and Bourdelle. Nor are there lacking examples of the “geometrizing” sculpture put in vogue by some modern German masters.

The painting. – During the colonial era and the first half of the century. XIX, painting had very little importance in Uruguay. To find a fine painter you have to go down to Juan Manuel Blanes (1830-1900). At first self-taught, he painted (1855-1856) large battle paintings for the Argentine general Urquiza in his palace in San José near Concepción, works notable only for their primitive realism. After having studied for three years in Florence at the Ciseri, when he returned to his homeland, he began a fruitful activity dealing with historical, military, costume and portrait subjects, and showing himself now romantic, now realist and always a good draftsman and colorist. Diógenes Hequet (1867-1902) devoted himself almost exclusively to military subjects, showing himself impressed by Detrille and De Neuville. Manuel Larravide (1871-1910) was instead exclusively a marine painter, like his teacher, the Italian Eduardo de Martino. Carlos Maria Herrera (1875-1916), after having studied in Rome with the Spanish painters Sánchez Barbudo and Barbasán, and in Madrid at the Sorollá, drew from them the naturalistic tendencies; he was an excellent portrait painter.

We still remember Cárlos F. Sáez (1879-1901), a painter of exceptional talents that are shown especially in portraits, and Pedro Blanes Viale (1879-1926), landscape painter, first in relationship with the French Impressionists, then with the Spanish Santiago Rusiñol . Impressionism continues to have many adherents in Uruguay, and some of them have produced very interesting works; but this school begins to yield before the post-impressionism of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Matisse and even Picasso, followed by some young Uruguayan painters.

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