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  You are in: Home > Art History > Waiting at the Shore  
 

Waiting at the Shore
Art, Revolution, War, and Exile in the Life of the Spanish Artist Luis Quintanilla

Paul Quintanilla

Paul Quintanilla was for many years a librarian in the San Francisco Public Library, engaging with the reading public. He is now retired and living in New England. He has maintained a lifelong interest in the Spanish Civil War. He has also designed a website featuring his father’s work. All the illustrations in this book and many more can be found at www.lqart.org

 

Waiting at the Shore chronicles the extraordinary life of the Spanish artist Luis Quintanilla, championed by Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Elliot Paul, and many other American and European writers and artists. In 1912, at the age of 18, he ran off to Montmartre where, under the influence of his fellow countryman Juan Gris, he began his artistic career as a Cubist. Returning to Madrid before the war he befriended prominent Spaniards, including Juan Negrín, the Premier during the Spanish Civil War. In April 1931 he and Negrín participated in the peaceful revolution which ousted the monarchy and installed the Second Spanish Republic. When civil war broke out Quintanilla helped lead troops on Madrid’s Montaña Barracks, which saved the capital for the Republic.

“Because great painters,” as Hemingway put it, “are scarcer than good soldiers,” the Spanish government [Negrín] ordered Quintanilla out of the army after the fascists were stopped outside Madrid. The artist completed 140 drawings of the various fronts of the war which were exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, with a catalog by Hemingway. After the Republic lost the war Quintanilla was forced into an exile which lasted several decades. Living in New York and in Paris he strove to perfect his art, shunning the modernist vogues of the time. Although a celebrity when he first arrived in the United States he eventually fell into obscurity. This volume, which is heavily illustrated, brings him out of the shadows of neglect, and provides the compelling story of an artist who led not just an extraordinary life but left a legacy of paintings and drawings which, in both their skill and great imaginative variety, should be known to all art lovers.




List of Illustrations

PART ONE: A BOHEMIAN YOUTH
1 CUBISTIC SKETCHES
A Little About the Family
Schooling
The First Studio

2 A PARISIAN IDYLL

3 MADRID DURING THE WAR
Stepping Out Onto the Stage
The Buffet Italiano

4 MONTPARNASSE
The Germ of the Soul
The Carrefoure Vavin
Ernesto Hemingway
The Fiery Dance of the Isms

5 THE CRADLE OF REBIRTHS
Ángel Sánchez Rivero and the Duke of Alba
Florence, Italy
Mussolini

PART TWO: FACING A BITTER WORLD IN THE SUN AT NOON
6 IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Unamuno
Jacque

7 THE BIRTH OF A REPUBLIC

8 AN INTERLUDE: TWO FRIENDS AND AN ENEMY
Two Friends
An Enemy

9 THE REPUBLIC
A Time of Dreams
The Revolution of 1934
The Show at the Pierre Matisse Gallery
Eight Months, Four Days, and Three Hours

10 “THE INEVITABLE”

PART THREE: “A TORTUROUS NIGHTMARE” – THE WAR IN SPAIN
11 AN ARMY OF THE PEOPLE
July 19th: The Saving of Madrid
The Montaña Barracks

12 COMBAT ON THE FRONT LINES

13 THE ALCÁZAR OF TOLEDO
Legends and Dreams
The Siege of the Alcázar

14 AN ORGANIZATION IS FORMED
The Madrid Front
The Simple-Minded Son of a Millionaire Widow
At Table with Spies

15 “WHY KILL US?”: THE DRAWINGS OF THE WAR
Excursions Along the Lines
Returning Home
Sitges and the Barcelóna Ritz

16 THE VISIT TO NEW YORK
The Show at the Museum of Modern Art
All the Brave

17 THE FINAL CARD
Barcelóna
“Let the Bull Come Out!”

18 LOVE PEACE HATE WAR

PART FOUR: THE WHITE BEAR
19 PRETTY LIGHT OF BAGGAGE
The Glad Sanity of Art
The White Bear

20 TO THE ROAD ONCE AGAIN
Hollywood
On to Kansas City
Don Quixote in the Heartland

21 P & Q
A Spanish Rice
Another Dual Masterpiece
With a Hays Nonny Nonny

PART FIVE: GREENWICH VILLAGE
22 AN ARTIST’s STUDIO
Eighth Street
The Portraits of Writers
A Believer in Illusions

23 THE STRUGGLE FOR LIFE WITHIN LIFE
Some of the Spaniards
Franco’s Black Spain
The Dance of the Isms Speeding Up

24 “HERE NOTHING HAS HAPPENED.”..
The Illustrated Gulliver...
Grace Church

25 ALONE IN THE STUDIO

26 A SON’s PORTFOLIO
Viva el Sufrimiento
Posing
Gypsy Rose Lee’s Dog
The Teef
At the Met
Christmas in the Studio

27 THE HUNT FOR PAINTABLE SUBJECTS

28 THE MALEVOLENT FAIRY

29 AN ENCLAVE OF SPANISH CULTURE
The Arrival of the Fifties
The Incredible Edifice
The Clean Easy Window

30 HOPE CONTINUED ALOFT AND HELD SUSPENDED
The Drinking
Joseph Mitchel

PART SIX: EUROPE
31 TOWARD FINDING THE SOLUTION

32 THE SACRED FIRE
Don Pablo Casals
The Trip to Puerto Rico
Wildenstein’s

33 PARIS
Reunions
El Palomar
The Show at the Salle Gaveau

34 SEPARATION

35 WAITING AT THE SHORE
Patience
Home

ELEGY: SOMETHING OF YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW

INDEX


“Luis Quintanilla was a very fine artist with a special gift for seizing and enhancing by original illustrations the most significant moments in a literary work.” Jacques Barzun, who wrote the introduction to the 1947 edition of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels which Quintanilla illustrated.

“Luis Quintanilla was a great artist and a great man.” Martha Gellhorn

“The book is a contribution to our knowledge of the Spanish Civil War. Strongly recommended.” Alfred Kazin

“A story that deserves to be told.” Arthur Miller

“LUIS QUINTANILLA (Santander 1893–Madrid 1978) is one of the most interesting artists of that generation of Spanish artists which emerged during the thirties. … Influenced by the Parisian vanguard, his style evolved toward social realism. An excellent painter, a magnificent draftsman, and an extraordinary engraver, he was part of a generation of Spanish artists whose name didn’t ring out for being truncated by historical events in Spain…. It is time now to study his work and legacy with all seriousness.” Maria José Salazar, Curator of Drawings and Engravings, National Museum of Art, Reina Sofia, Madrid (translated from the Spanish by the author)

“Both from an artistic and historical perspective, Quintanilla’s work should assume its rightful place. His amazing story is an archetype of the heroic sacrifice made by so many in Spain in the name of freedom and of human rights.” Ramon Sender Barayón

“Luis Quintanilla was (definitely) a great artist and a great man. His story deserves to be told.” Milton Wolff, Commander, Abraham Lincoln Brigade

Quintanilla was “a great artist and a great man.” Howard Fast

And from Ernest Hemingway:
“These paintings that were destroyed by the bomb, and these frescoes that were smashed by artillery fire and chipped away by machine-gun bullets were great Spanish works of art. Luis Quintanilla, who painted them, was not only a great artist but a great man…”

“Quintanilla draws with a sharp instrument on nickled zinc to make etchings that are beautiful and lasting in any epoch at any time … by merit, with any etcher who has ever lived.”

“The etchings are damned wonderful, the finest dry points I’ve ever seen by anybody alive.” (Hemingway in a letter to Arnold Gingrich)

Quintanilla “can paint the ass of anybody.” Ernest Hemingway, as related to the author by Ernest’s brother, Leicester.

 


 

Publication Details

 
Paperback ISBN:
978-1-84519-597-7
 
 
Page Extent / Format:
420 pp. / 247 x 171 mm
 
Release Date:
February 2014
  Illustrated:   Yes
 
Paperback Price:
£27.50 / $39.95
 
 

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