The art of the female nude

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Nicanor Piñole, second from the right in the second row, was among those attending the exhibition.

1972. 50 years ago.

The Ateneo Jovellanos inaugurated a painting exhibition as a result of a monograph published in ‘Treasures of Asturias’

Friday, May 6, 2022, 02:01

Few times -if not at all- had the theme of the female nude been dealt with before in Asturian painting. Half a century ago, it finally found shelter in the Ateneo Jovellanos, as a result of the selection of works for a monograph published in the series ‘Treasures of Asturias’, which began with a work by Francisco Carantoña, then director of EL COMERCIO.

So it was that that day, with Jesús Villa Pastur at the helm and Pedro de Silva, secretary of the Athenaeum, presenting the opening ceremony, all the periods of art history were reeled off. It «started from the first Greek essays to move on to the Renaissance. With an extensive and documented series of quotes, he (Villa) described events and developments until he reached Asturian painting, which, according to the speaker, took an identity card with Dionisio Fierros».

In Asturian painting, Villa assured that day, the female nude had appeared very late, with Nicanor Piñole as the central figure, present at the act. «Don Nicanor is the Spanish painter who captured the nude with greater artistic truth and better aesthetic meanings», he said, recalling the words of Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, «who, on a certain occasion, said that in Madrid an exhibition of nudes of Don Nicanor Piñole would be something memorable.

Pinole and Marola

It was not in Madrid, but it was in Gijón. Previously, in the monograph, the works of Piñole and Marola had been commented on, in whom «the linear rhythm is modernized with certain forms of current painting»; of Pepa Osorio and Magdaleno; Mieres, Sanjurjo, Linares, Tejerina, Purón Sotres, Orlando Pelayo, Bartolomé, Lombardía, Zaragoza, Paulino Vicente, Suárez Torga, Úrculo, Gomila, Baragaña, Antonio and Aurelio Suárez.

Now many others were exposed. And so, with the brushstrokes of one and the other, it warmed up a night that, outside the Ateneo, was most unpleasant. It gave so much. The public packed the room. “At the head of all, as a symbol of freshness and youthful countenance, Mr. Nicanor Piñole (…), the central axis of a day of great importance.” The occasion, the theme and the characters well deserved it.

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