Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gregorio Prieto

I imagine many other people have had this experience: you pick up a book or catalogue or even catch sight of a single image and find yourself immediately wondering if the artist may have been gay. It's like art gaydar. To my shame, I had never heard of Gregorio Prieto (1897-1992) until the other day when I picked up a very scruffy looking 1940s publication showing just a handful of his paintings and drawings. The drawings with their simple lines, reminiscent of Cocteau and their mythological and homoerotic flavour made me want to know more. Turning a few more pages and I discover he is the painter of a very famous portrait of Lorca. I'm sure there are people reading this amazed at my ignorance but more information hasn't been very forthcoming. The book I have tells me only the dry facts of a Spanish artist, who travelled extensively, particularly in Greece and Southern Europe, who studied in Paris where he "attracted the attention" of a group who frankly read like a Who's Who of Gay Paris in the 20s and 30s. Come the Civil War in Spain he found refuge in England and lived here for about a decade. He has a Wikipedia entry, but not a long one, and all in Spanish which I think suggests he was living with the gay poet Luis Cernuda, but this is based only on a slightly wonky Google translation. There are a good number of images of his work online but precious little detail about his life. So, this is not exactly a call for help but if anyone does know any more about his life, or where I can find a decent account of him, I'd love to hear about it. In the meantime, this is a selection of my favourite drawings from my book.


shade lifthrasir said...

Hi - (I am not sure whether to call you James or Callum - or both!)

I stumbled upon your lovely blog a while back. I love old books, manuscripts, anything with a story to tell. I don't usually have something that interesting to say, so - I didn't say hi until now.

I looked Gregorio Prieto up in our academy libraries, and in the associated online resources. I could only find a few mentions - hopefully at least something will be helpful.

His full name appears to be Gregorio Prieto Muñoz.

He was mentioned here: (briefly - the review of the book states the following:
"... In a catch-all concluding chapter appear
Santiago Ram6n y Cajal, whose early
interest in painting deserves attention, Juan Ram6n Jimenez, Picasso, Moreno Villa, Ram6n G6mez de la Serna, Gregorio Prieto, Rafael Alberti, Antonio Buero
Vallejo, and Miguel Delibes."

In a journal "The hispanic and luso brazillian world"
(The Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian World
Author(s): T. Edward Harvey
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Hispania, Vol. 76, No. 3 (Sep., 1993), pp. 505-519)

there are the following lines:

Gregorio Prieto Muñioz, una de las más singulares figuras de la pintura española y muy vinculado a la generación del 27, falleció en su localidad natal de Valdepeñas. Prieto, que contaba 95 años y era victima de un grave declinar fisico, deja a su muerte una riquisima ovra que havia cedido en su dia al Estado español. Dibujante, poeta, escritor y escultor, fue considerado como "el pintor por antonomasia de la Generación del 27, creador univeral con sólidas raices, locales, abiero a la renovacion estética del siglo XX."

This is what Google translate has to say (with mistakes a-plenty).

Gregorio Prieto Munoz, one of the singular figures in my painting Espafiola and closely linked to generaci6n 27, died in his native localldad Valdepefias. Prieto, who had 95 Ainu and was the victim of a serious physical decline, his death leaves unariquisima work that had yielded in his day ab espainiol State.
Artist, poet, writer and sculptor, was considered "the quintessential painter of the generation of 27, universal creator with solid roots, local est6tica renovaci6n open to the twentieth century."

Of course i'm sure you have already found the spanish Wikipedia page:

That's what I could find... Seems so little. It's a shame how quickly artists disappear.
His drawings are lovely, by the way.

Hope you are having a nice day,

shade lifthrasir said...

Here are some more links (ah, curiosity.) In a couple of these links there are some mentions of bibliographic resources which might be helpful.,%20Gregorio%20(n.1900)


shade lifthrasir said...

You must think i'm a freak... Why can't I either:

a. calmly and carefully collect all the links/references, and post them in one long post like a normal person would or:

b. find a few references, post a reply, get back to studying. *sigh*.

Here is one more link - a newspaper interview from 1942. Last one. Promise. :)

Javier Arnott Álvarez said...

I let you two links to the posts that I write about him.

Who links to my website?