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José Gutiérrez Solana (Madrid, 1886-1945)

The old Miser


Chinese ink and pencil on paper, 61 x 45 cm.


Signed at the lower right corner “J. Solana”

Solana learned to draw as a very young man, taught by the painter José Diez de Palma who was a relative of his family. His enthusiasm for the medium and his evident abilities encouraged him to continue to improve his technique during his years as an art student

Drawing held no secrets for Solana and was an intrinsic part of his output, to the extent that there are no essential formal differences between his paintings and his works on paper.

Solana drew with pencil, charcoal and pastel, while he also used line in his paintings to define the objects and figures through the strokes of colour.

The old Miser is one of the numerous motifs that he included in his painting The End of the World in which Solana fused a representation of Death with an interpretation of Sin. The central theme of the present, rather Symbolist, drawing seems to be Avarice. The character depicted is unwilling to relinquish his worldly wealth despite the approach of death, represented by the scythe carried by the two skeletons next to him, who seem to be amused by his stubborn attitude.

Solana depicted this subject in another very similar drawing that only differs from the present one in a few small details.

María José Salazar