Jose Arpa y Perea - Quixote & Sancho Panza - Charcoal & Watercolor

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Jose Arpay Perea - Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in
ca. 1920s

Cristina’s has acquired a remarkable, large, charcoal and watercolor on paper on the subject of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza by the internationally renowned and much sought-after Spanish artist, Jose Arpa y Perea (1858-1952). Capitalize on this opportunity to purchase a much demanded and rare to find name in the world of art.

Jose Arpa y Perea commands respect from both artists and collectors alike. The draftsmanship and detail in the faces of the chivalrous Spaniard and his trusty accomplice, as well as Quixote's horse, Rocinante, is masterful considering their execution in charcoal. With this work Arpa explores a motif common to many of the great masters, including Daumier, Cezanne, Picasso, Dali, Dore, Paez, Hopper, Posada, Hogarth, O’Brien, and countless others.

A rich and authenticated provenance accompanies the purchase of this terrific original mixed-media charcoal and watercolor. Arpa gave this drawing to his closest friend in San Antonio, the celebrated artist and photographer, Ernst Raba (mentioned below in the History of the Artist).

Ernst Raba's grandson is a close personal friend to the Cristina's Jewelry family. He has decided to part ways with his treasured Arpa drawing and with it provides an abundance of provenance.

About of the Artist

José Arpa y Perea, 1858–1952, was an artist of Spanish birth who worked in Spain, Mexico, and Texas. Born in Carmona, Spain, he studied under Eduardo Cano de la Peña at the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville, where he won the Rome Prize three times, allowing him to study in Rome.

During his stay in Italy, his art began to evolve from the academic models he learned from Cano, into a natural, en plein air style. Evidenced through his landscapes, he began to meld tenets of realism with those of en plein air, through rapid execution and a flowing, natural hand. He painted in a realistic style, and was especially noted for his use of brilliant colors and his expertise in capturing the visual effects of sunlight.

Arpa returned to Spain in 1886, where he remained until 1895, maintaining a studio on Calle Gerona in Zarzuela. During this period he established himself as an accomplished artist; traveling and exhibiting his paintings throughout Europe, Africa and the Americas.

In 1895, he went to Mexico to teach painting at the National Academy of Fine Arts in San Carlos at the behest of the Mexican government. After arriving, Arpa declined the position but remained in Mexico, painting a series of landscapes in Jalapa and Coatepec, as well as urban and domestic subjects.

In 1899 Arpa arrived in San Antonio and by 1900 he participated in the International Fair of Art in San Antonio. He exhibited a painting entitled "Mexican Funeral", which the Boston Museum later purchased for $12,000. His visits to San Antonio enabled him to make the acquaintances of the photographer Ernst Raba, and the artists Robert Onderdonk and his son, Julian Onderdonk; important figures in the San Antonio art community.

From 1900 to the 1920's, Arpa traveled frequently between Mexico, Spain, and San Antonio, eventually settling in the latter region in 1923. During the first part of the century, he exhibited not only in San Antonio and Mexico, but in Dallas, in New York at the National Academy of Design (1903), and in Spain at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts of Madrid (1904) and at the National Exhibition of Fine and Industrial Arts, Seville.

He established the Arpa School of Painting in San Antonio in 1923. He continued to exhibit frequently, at museums and galleries throughout Texas as well as New York and Spain. In 1926, he began to teach en plein air classes in Bandera, Texas.

Arpa later returned to Spain in 1931, where he remained until his death in 1952 at the age of ninety-four. Arpa's work has been widely exhibited; ten of his paintings are in the collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art. During his years in San Antonio, Texas he influenced many painters, most notably Xavier Gonzalez, (his nephew), Octavio Medellín, and Porfirio Salinas. Salinas has become one of the most sought after artists in the San Antonio, Texas area and his influence on younger artists is incalculable.

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  • Item Type - Mixed Media
  • Artist - Jose Arpa y Perea
  • Title Untitled (Quixote & Sancho Panza)
  • Medium - Charcoal & Watercolor On Paper
  • Year - ca. 1920s
  • Image Size - 20” x 26”
  • Framed - 29.5" x 23.25"