New! A trio of Catalans serving up fun, fur + flair.
Greetings, collectors! With fall fully underway, we couldn’t resist the autumnal appeal of our latest Vintage Edition: Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu in an Automobile by none other than Ramon Casas himself.
Created in 1901, Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu in an Automobile depicts the artist in the driver’s seat of a cherry red convertible accompanied by fellow artist and partner-in-crime, Pere Romeu. The painting was the most prominent work displayed in their legendary Barcelona bar, Els Quatre Gats—a hotspot for their arty peers that was modeled after Le Chat Noir in Paris—and was actually a very 20th century update on an earlier work, in which our same two friends rode a tandem bicycle.
Combining methods of Post-Impressionistic realism and graphic illustration, Casas subtly depicts the feeling of movement through the attitude of his characters and the curved blur of the wheel spokes. Draped in the most luxurious of furs, the pair appear to be on a mission with Casas hunched attentively over the steering wheel. A shiny black shoe puts pedal to the metal, while their canine sidekick stands perched atop a square picnic basket. Where they’re headed? Who knows, but this trio is comin’ in hot with a whole vibe. Frame up this fabulous vignette in your home and you can practically hear the words of the great Regina George: “get in loser, we’re going shopping.”
Born to a wealthy family in Barcelona in 1866, Casas dropped out of school in 1877 to study art under Joan Vicens. He became a well-known portraitist amongst the intellectual and political elite as well as one of the most prominent graphic designers of the time, pioneering the Catalan art movement known as modernisme. Casas founded Els Quatre Gats along with Romeu in 1897 as a meeting place for the emerging modernista art world. The bar hosted tertulias—social gatherings of artists and writers—as well as rotating art exhibits, including one of the first solo shows by Pablo Picasso.
Casas’ work at Els Quatre Gats launched a flourishing commercial design career. He adopted the art nouveau style that would come to define modernisme and his work adorned everything from cafe signs to cava bottles, cigarette papers to champagne ads. Simultaneously, Casas’ painting career continued to blossom, with the Spanish committee choosing two of his full length oil portraits to exhibit at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. Talk about a real Renaissance man!
From advertising to political portraiture, Casas’ work solidified his importance in art history, but it’s the total MOOD of Ramon Casas and Pere Romeu in an Automobile that makes us want to Thelma and Louise right on into fall. Bundled up and dressed to the nines, awash in warm, muted tones with a doggo in tow. This print is as much a vision board as it is art. How can you resist?