An extensive selection of the Catalan artist’s portraits of Tangier’s society can be seen together for the first time up until the 14th of September
For the first time, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya is exhibiting a collection of the best works of Josep Tapiró. Born in Reus, this watercolourist became enchanted with the city of Tangier, where he lived for more than thirty years and where he focussed his efforts on the depiction of North African society.
Unlike other orientalists of the time who saw the Maghreb as a source of exoticism and romanticism, Tapiró immersed himself fully in North African society and portrayed it with rigour and objectivity. He forged friendship with Muslims, Jews and Westerners alike and was admitted into places that hitherto had not been accessible to foreigners and his watercolours depict local rituals, traditions and everyday activities that were gradually disappearing as a result of colonialist pressure. His paintings display both a meticulous realism and an individual language and deviate from the idealised works of earlier generations of orientalist painters in a style that made him one of the most sought-after watercolourists of the latter half of the 19th century.
The exhibition is an example of the efforts being made by the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya to rediscover Catalan artists, an initiative which includes an exhibition dedicated to painter and poet Carles Casagemas in the coming autumn.
Tapiró’s masterpieces can be seen throughout the summer months, up until the 14th of September.
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