Lot 293: Martin Rico y Ortega (Spanish)
December 3, 2016
New Orleans, LA, USALive Auction
Description: Martin Rico y Ortega (Spanish, 1833-1908), "Picnic", oil on wood panel, signed "Rico" lower right, "M. Knoedler & Co." label en verso, 11 1/2 in. x 6 1/2 in., framed. Note: Martin Rico Y Ortega was born in 1833 in Madrid during a time of civil unrest. It is perhaps because of the conflict in Spain and resulting lingering effects that Rico felt drawn towards Paris and, later, Venice to establish himself as a painter. At the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, he studied under Jenaro Pérez Villaamil, who himself was highly influenced by the works of English artists such as John Constable. As a result, Rico became quite accomplished at rendering the interplay of light, shadows, sky and clouds. In 1860, he was able to further his artistic studies in Paris, where he became acquainted with Barbizon painters like Charles-Francois Daubigny. Ricos works certainly reflect the plein-air approach of the Barbizon school, while also including the detailed representation of everyday minutia in the style of the Realists. Later in life, Rico would often return to his native Spain. He would spend time exploring the scenes of once Moorish areas and committing them to canvas. In the painting offered here, Rico captures a picnic outside the walls of an impressive villa. His realistic depiction of the ornate building in the background as well as the shadows cast by the high sun, the attention to color and the meticulous detail are all characteristics of the skilled artist. Ref.: Whitmore, Jane. Martin Rico y Ortega. Rehs Galleries. www.rehsgalleries.com. Accessed Oct. 23, 2017.