Desfile de Santa Barbara Image
Gustavo Bacarisas

Desfile de Santa Barbara

c. 1936-1939

Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Gustavo Bacarisas created a series of eight works on the subject of the Civil War in Spain (1936 – 1939). After much travelling around the world, from Italy, to France, to Argentina and to the United States of America, Bacarisas settled in Seville in 1915 and was still there when the war broke out. He and his wife, fellow artist Elsa Jens, took refuge in Gibraltar until the war ended, but before he left war stricken Spain, he painted this series. The works would have been seen as politically controversial at the time, and Bacarisas was fully aware of the potential repercussions should they have fallen into the wrong hands. It appears he kept them hidden for years, although it is unknown if they remained in Spain or were taken to Gibraltar. Eventually they resurfaced, hidden at the back of a wardrobe in his house in Seville, after the Second World War. Each painting displays a scene of the turmoil and horror of war, a snap shot of Bacarisas’ interpretation of the terror lived by the ordinary people of Spain at this dreadful time. Of the eight works, seven form part of HMGoG Art Collection, they are: ‘Paqueo en la Calle’; Milicianos en la Gran Via’; ‘Interior de Taberna’; ‘El Convoy’; ‘Desfile de Santa Barbara’; ‘Ninos Jugando’, and ‘El Interrogatorio’. This piece, mostly dark and in shadow, is punctuated by pops of red. The men in the left foreground raise fists at the passing parade. The figures sitting down on the right depicted in muted shades and appearing to be whispering to each other appear to show the discontent and worry of the troubled times.