A Biographical Sketch of Luis Quintanilla (1893-1978)
by Paul Quintanilla
Starting out as a Cubist under the influence of his friend, Juan Gris, Quintanilla eventually became a prominent Spanish draftsman and muralist. Though he would have far preferred to be left alone to paint in peace without engaging in politics he was eventually drawn into the tumultuous affairs of his times. In 1931 he and Juan Negrin, the Premier of the Spanish Republic during the Spanish Civil War, put the flag of the Republic up on the Royal Palace in Madrid ensuring that the revolution which ousted the king would remain bloodless. In October of 1934 Quintanilla started a prison term lasting eight months, four days, and three hours for hosting, in his studio, the revolutionary committee of the October revolt. As has happened on other occasions when a prominent artist has found himself in jail, the world's intellectual community rallied to his aid. Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos circulated the petitions and organized the protests in the United States, Andre Malraux in France, and Lady Margo Asquith, wife of the former Prime Minister, performed the same service in Britain. And a show of his Madrid street scene etchings took place at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York with a catalog by Hemingway and Dos Passos. This show introduced him to the United States. When the Spanish Civil War started in July, 1936, Quintanilla helped lead the attack on the Montana Barracks which saved Madrid for the government. He was made the commander of the barracks at the start of the war and led men in action on the streets of Madrid, Toledo, and in the Guadarrama Mountains. In the spring of 1937 he was removed from these and other duties by Juan Negrin and commissioned to do a set of drawings of the war. These were shown first in 1938 at the Barcelona Ritz and then at the Museum of Modern Art in New York with a catalog essay by Hemingway. With the fall of the Spanish Republic in 1939 he was forced into an exile which lasted more than 37 years, living in New York until 1958, and then for 18 years in Paris . A year following the death of Spain's dictator, General Francisco Franco, Quintanilla returned to Madrid where he spent the remaining two years of his life. He died at the age of 85 on October 16, 1978.
What is A Catalogue Raisonné In Progress?
By its nature a catalgoue raisonné, being a record of the complete works of an artist, will most likely never be complete. Previously undiscovered works can always turn up, new information concerning already catalogued material surface, errors require correction, etc.
Hence, a catalogue raisonné is, and should be, perpetually in progress. Publishing electronically, or more specifically on the internet, therefore, becomes a sensible alternative allowing for the avoidance of hazards commonly associated with the more or less permanent nature of conventional print catalogues. Not only does the internet allow for almost instant editing subsequent to initial publication but also provides, on a continuing basis, the opportunity to make improvements based on suggestions received from readers.
To help further our search for new information, visitors to this site are encouraged to send their comments and suggestions to us at:
Using This Catalogue Raisonné
For those visitors to this catalogue who would prefer to familiarize themselves with its various features and methods of use before entering the catalogue, please read the material below. For those others who would prefer to enter the catalogue immediately, please click the link in the Table of Contents that best serves your needs. This same menu will appear on most every page you visit, so if your first entry point does not provide exactly what you want, the other choices will remain before you.
General Organization of this Catalogue
As would be the case in a traidtional book, the key tool for accessing the various sections of this web catalogue is the Table of Contents. It appears in the left column on each page of the Quintanilla catalogue. Links to all of the catalogue sections referred to below are present in this table. Click the link for the section you wish to visit.
The Four Series of Quintanilla's Prints
The catalogue is divided into four series of prints, each immediately accessible by means of the Thumbnails Part 1-Part 4 links in the Table of Contents: Part one is the Madrid Series. These prints (with the exception of entry number I) were made by Quintanilla in Madrid between 1930 and 1934. Part two contains the four lithographs made in 1938 and published in 1939 for the book All the Brave. Part three is the New York Series. These prints were made by Quintanilla after he was exiled from Spain and took up residence in New York in 1939. Part 4 contains prints made for Illustrated Books. Prints in this section are not included in the catalouge raisonné proper, are not numbered, and are represented only by selections, not the entire body of work
Other Methods of Entering and Navigating the Catalogue
- Click the Full Entry Catalogue link in the left column menu. This will take you to the first entry in the catalogue. Use the links in the box in the upper right corner of this page (and every full entry page, as illustrated just below) to navigate catalogue's full entry pages. The links will enable you to skip back to the first entry in the catalogue, go to the entry previous to the one you are currently at, go to the entry that follows the one you are crrently at, or skip forward to the last entry in the catalogue.
Further commentary on Full Catalogue Entries can be found by scrolling down to the next section of this page or by clicking here.
Navigate the Full Entry Catalogue
First Entry || Previous Entry || Next Entry || Last Entry
- Click the Search This Website link in the Table of Contents. or Search at the top of any page. This will take you to the Search page, which offers two basic methods for searching the site: The key-word/key-phrase search engine and the catalogue number pop-up menu. It should be noted that the search engine searches the entire APOCRP site, and so it is advisable to enter the word Quintanilla as a key-word along with any other key-words or phrases important to your inquiry. Also, you must choose "Quintanilla" when using the catalogue number pop-up menu. Further suggestions for searching effectively will be found on the Search page.
- Other features of the catalogue that can be accessed in the Table of Contents include:
- Topic Gallery Pages, each of which provides a series of thumbnails of Quintanilla prints on a particular subject such as Nudes, Cafe Scenes, etc.
- Public Collections Page on which may be found a list of museums, libraries and other public collections holding Quintanilla prints and the particular print or prints each holds.
- Bibliography listing selected works by and about Quintanilla and Quintanilla exhibitions. (The bibliography also serves as a works cited page for souces cited within the catalogue raisonné.
- A Biographical Chronology of the artist. This chronology resides on the website The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla.
- Clicking the previous link or the Chronology link in the Left-hand Links Column will take you off the website of this Catalogue Raisonné. You will have to close or minimize the the new site window in order to return this catalogue.
- The website the Art and World of Luis Quintanilla contains an enormous amount of material pertaining to the aritst and is highly recommened as a supplement to this catalogue raisonné of Quintanilla's prints.
- American Printmaker On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project (APOCRP) pages which include material pertaining to the entire site instead of to a particular artist, such as the Glossary of Terms, Contact Information, etc.
The primary repository for information on any given print included in the catalogue raisonné is the full entry page for that print. Each full entry page contains (or will contain) all of the following elements of information for the print: catalogue number, title, date, medium, edition, dimensions, printer, typical pencil annotations, public collections holding the print, and topic galleries including the print.
Beyond these standard elements, each full entry includes a photographic image of the print that can be enlarged and a notes section that supplements and/or clarifies the information in the standard elements. (You may go directly to the explanation of any particular element by using the pop-up menus at the top of the page or simply by scrolling down.)
Every thumbnail image and title of a print, no matter where it appears in this website, is a link to the full entry page for that print. For example, if you click a thumbnail on the Madrid Series page or on the Nudes topic gallery page, you will go directly to the full entry page for that print. Similarly, if you encounter the title of any print in the catalogue raisonné in any location, as you are now encountering the title Boogie Woogie at Cafe Society, clicking that title will take you to its Full Entry Page. (Try it.)
Catalogue Entry numbers (and general order of presentation)
The standard as well as preferable method for ordering works in a catalogue raisonné is chronological. This method, however, sometimes needs modification, most often because the chronological order is not well enough established to make such a presentation feasible. Such is the case for the prints of Quintanilla. The overarching order used in the catalogue is chronological. The Madrid Series prints (c.1923-34) were made first and begin the catalogue, while the New York Series prints (1939 - c. 1952) were made afterward and conclude the catalogue. The four lithographs for the book All the Brave made in 1938, but without certainty as to place, fall numerically between the Madrid and New York Series. They have their own page of thumbnails accessible from each Table of Contents, among other places.
Prints created before 1931 will be included, as they are discovered, at the beginning of the Madrid Series, even if they were created elsewhere. Their catalogue numbers will be designated in roman numerals to distinguish them from the arabic numerals used for prints created beginning in 1931.
Within the three sections (Madrid Series prints, All the Brave prints and New York Series prints), however, chronological order is not always possible.
Within the Madrid Series, prints made prior to 1931 (Only one print is currently in this date range.) are presented chronolgically. From 1931 on, prints are presented in alphabetical order according to their Spanish titles. This was done because beyond knowing that all the prints in the series were made between 1931 and 1934, not enough specific dates of creation are known to provide a basis for an accurate chronological list. Madrid Series prints made from 1931 on, which do not bear a title in the artist's hand are presented "Untitled" with a descriptive English title at the conclusion of the Madrid Series.
Prints discovered and added to the catalogue raisonné after the initial list was created are inserted in their appropriate place and are assigned an alpha-numeric identifier; for example, see entry #41A.)
Within the New York Series, prints are presented chronologically with the exception of two prints about which not enough is known to estimate a date. These two appear at the end of the series. The last numerical entry in the catalogue raisonné is, therefore, an undated print in the New York Series, currently #68.
Prints from All the Brave appear according to the order of presentation found in the book.
- (Quintanilla made prints to serve as illustrations in several books. Prints for some illustrated books are included in the catalogue raisonné proper while others are not. For an explanation as to how this distinction was made, use the appropriate link in the Table of Contents or click here.)
The catalogue raisonné accepts a title for a given print if one of the following criteria is present: 1. A title appears on an impression of the print in the artist's hand (typically, l.l. just below the image, in Spanish for Madrid Series prints and in English for New York Series prints). In the Madrid Series, titles in the artist's hand appear only on one impression, an unnumbered one from the Hemingway Collection.
2. A title has been given by Quintanilla's American publisher, Associated American Artists (AAA), and appears on the AAA label accompanying each impression published by them. (See immediately below.) (Typically, titles do not appear on AAA published prints themselves).
3. For lithographs from Life in Manhattan in the New York Series, a title is sometimes (though not always) hand-printed under the image --usually lower left, occasionally lower left-center or lower center.
When none of these criteria is present on any impression, this catalogue designates the print "untitled" with a descriptive English title following in square brackets, e.g. Untitled [The Juggler]
For prints with Spanish titles, an English version created by us or another designated source follows in square brackets, e.g. El forzudo (The Strongman)
Other sources for titles, sometimes the same as the artist's and sometimes not are as follows: 1) The thirty-nine Spanish titles for prints from the Madrid Series used in the 1934 Pierre Matisse Gallery exhibition catalogue 2) The seven English titles used for the illustrations of prints from the Madrid Series appearing in the 1935 article "The Drypoints of Luis Quintanilla" by Basil Burdette." 3) The BNE catalogue. 4) The English titles used by AAA for its Nov., 1939 exhibition, Luis Quintanilla. (Three of these titles appear along with reproductions in the catalogue for that exhibition, while many others appear, in an unknown hand, at the bottom of the sheets of impressions that were offered for sale there. 5) The Spanish titles used in the 2005 catalogue Luis Quintanilla (1893-1978) Estampes y dibujos en el legado de Paul Quintanilla. 6) Other sources.
The notes section of each catalogue entry presents all the variant titles and their sources for that particular print. Full citations for each of the above works appear in the Bibliography.
Several criteria are used to establish the date of a print.:
1. The date appears in pencil in the artist's hand in the margin on at least one impression of the print, sometimes, l.l. with a title; other times l.r. with a signature. (See examples below.)
- An argument can be made that dates appearing with titles (See above.) may designate the date the scene depicted took place rather than the date the print was created. Such distinctions are discussed individually within specific entries.
2. The date is engraved in the plate or on the stone and so appears thus on all impressions.
3. No date appears on an observed impression of a print from the Madrid Series, but because it exists within a group of prints in which all examples are dated 1931, 1932, 1933, or 1934, it is deduced to have been made between those years and is dated "1931-34."
4. Other evidence, which is specified in the Notes Section of a particular entry, establishes the date.
Quintanilla worked in various printmaking media; however, intaglio prints dominate his oeuvre. There is debate as to the exact type of intaglio used in his Madrid Series prints.
According to Basil Burdett, Quintanilla began his printmaking career in the company of Dunoyer de Segonzac, and his first print was a drypoint. Burdett is unequivacal about this and about Quintanilla's Madrid prints being drypoints and nothing else:
- Unlike Goya, Quintanilla, as an engraver, does not mix his mediums. His expression on metal is limited to drypoint [By "on metal" Burdett intends to refer to forms of intaglio printmaking such as etching, burin engraving, etc. and does not, of course, mean to exclude Quintanilla's later lithographic work on zinc plates.] . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- In his devotion to one engraving medium only, Quintanilla is perhaps unique, almost certainly among Spanish engravers. Within that medium he has developed a gamut of tone wide and flexible enough to respond equally to the most dramatic and most lyrical demands of his subject matter. Attracted first of all by the suave richness of the banked drypoint line, Quintanilla has developed his scale by the somewhat unusual employment of six points, ranging from a stout, burin-like, tool to a very fine needle. With this equipment he secures linear gradations which yield an infinite tonal scale, varying from the characteristic spreading line of velvety blackness to a spidery trace, like a whisper on the metal. He uses nickel or nickelled [sic] zinc only and his method of modelling [sic] his figures is by a system of cross-hatching in which all his linear resources are frequently exploited, achieving a remarkable expression of volume. Quintanilla, in fact, uses drypont frankly as a medium for full rather than for suggestive expression. Incapable by temperament of any ultra-aesthetic attitude to the medium, he assumes no limits to its exploitation. He is interested in its special qualities, but more interested in that it can be made to yield to pure expression. For Quintanilla, true Spaniard, it is the comprehensive possibilities of a medium which count, and drypoint, in his hands, reveals to the limit its dramatic and realistic possibilities. His predilection for it is partially the result of a distaste for the bitten line and its chemical processes, partly of the spur of its added difficulties and of its closer relation to pure drawing. Apart from the lure of the wide potentialities of its mysterious and sonorous blacks, of its silvery harmonics, its directness makes a strong appeal to the quintessential Spaniard who is Luis Quintanilla. (Burdett 265 ff).
However, several catalogues list the medium of various Quintanilla prints from the Madrid Series as being a combination of drypoint and etching. Most significantly the Biblioteca Naciónal de España (BNE), which holds the largest number of Quintanilla prints in a public collection, labels the medium of many of their holdings as being "punta seca" and "aguafuerte" (drypoint and etching), while using the more general term, "grabado calcografico" (intaglio) for the others.
Furthermore, the Baltimore Museum of Art, after reexamination by their specialist of the three Quintanilla Madrid Series prints in their collection, labels Calle de Madrid  and Emigrantes combinations of drypoint and etching; while Galicia solely etching.
After coming to New York in 1939, Quintanilla worked in drypoint, etching, lithography and in an engraving process of his own design. The lithographs made for the unpublished book "Life in Manhattan" were done on zinc plates. For at least one (and probably all) of these, the artist apparently used two zinc plates. (See the entry for Museum of Modern Art.) For the very large color lithograph [Woman Dancing with Child], he used seven separate plates, one for each color. He is known to have drawn only one lithograph on a stone. (See the entry for Untitled [Head and Hand].
With the exception of catalogue # I, all of Quintanilla's Madrid Series drypoints were printed by Adolfo Ruperez, perhaps the premier printer of artist prints in Spain in the first half of the twentieth century. There is, however, no log or other record yet discovered that clearly establishes the number of impression printed for Madrid Series prints.
That they in most cases involved the use of drypoint suggests small editions, and no observed Madrid Series prints show an authenticated pencil annotation for an edition of greater than nine numbered impressions; and not record of a printing of more than 10 impressions exists. Most common are editions of seven or eight numbered impressions plus at least one unnumbered impression. The unnumbered impression typically bears a title, in the artist's hand in the place, l.l. below the plate mark, where the numbering otherwise appears. Of the observed prints bearing titles in the aforementioned manner, all have been part of the Hemingway Collection.
Furthermore neither Quintanilla nor Ruperez, his printer, were consistent in their manner of numbering on the sheets themselves. Observed annotations showing the edition sometimes appear as 7 -- P n° 1" where P = "preubas" (proofs or impressions). However, many observed impressions only bear a single number, such as "n° 6", without including the total number of proofs. (See examples just below.)
The BNE catalogue entries include several variations on designations for the numbering of Quintanilla Madrid Series prints:
- "tirada de [x] ejemplares" where x = the number of impressions. It is our understanding that "tirada" as used in BNE's entries includes numbered and unnumbered impressions.
- "n°1 de 7 preubas"
- "n° 6" [without any designation of the edition itself].
Some observed impressions display the number with dashes before and after the digit (See example below.), while others do not include the dashes. (See above.) It is possible that the numbers without the dashes and those with them are in different hands, though we are satisfied, through provenance, with the authenticity of both.
(Several posthumous auction sales photos show numbering in an edition of ten, but the manner of presentation differs significantly from annotations of known authenticity. See Dubious Signatures and Annotations.)
Edition data for prints in the New York Series is even less complete than for those in the Madrid series. Specific numbers are known for prints published by Associated American Artists. Whatever is known regarding edition data for other New York Series prints is recorded in the Notes Section of the entry for each print.
Thus far, most observed impressions are proofs which remain in the estate of the artist. As more collections are surveyed, impressions with annotations revealing edition data may be forthcoming.
Illustrated Books -- Editions
As is noted on the page devoted to Quintanillas illustrated books, the artist made prints for five illustrated books -- three that were published and two that were not. Of these, prints from two (Life in Manhattan and All the Brave) are included in the catalogue raisonné. (For an explanation of why the others are not, click the illustrated books link just above.)
Life in Manhattan was never published and no edition numbers for the prints made are known, though it is likely that they are limited to a small number of impressions printed before the decision not to publsih was made.
The only edition number for All the Brave is for the Deluxe Edition of the book, which was limited to 440 copies, though the entire first editon included the four original lithographs. Therefore, the edition number for the four lithographs from All the Brave, equals 450 plus the unknown number of books in the remainder of the first edition -- undoubedly a large number.
Impressions outside editions
The number of impressions in an edition is determined by a pencil annotation on an observed impression or impessions. (See "Madrid Series editions" above.). Therefore any impression without numbering is considered an impression outside the edition. Where an impression has the title just below the plate mark, l.l., instead of numbering, (as is the case on many impressions from the Hemingway collection, such an impression is considered outside of the edition. Similarly, impressions from the Madrid series lacking any annotation are considered outside the edition. Each catalogue entry specifies when unnumbered impressions from either or both of the categories above have been observed.
New York Series Prints
As noted just above under "New York Series Editions," other than editions published by Associated American Artists, the existance of editions have seldom been verified; therefore, most observed impressions are, by definition, outside the edition -- if there was an edition at all.
Establishing the number of impressions in or outside of an edition for Quintanilla's books illustrated with prints is at best difficult and perhaps pointless. Total numbers of impressions for published books are both unknown and very large. No edition numbers are known for prints intended to be included in books that were never published. Whatever information is known can be reviewed on the pages devoted to illustrated books. To access that information, click here.
For Madrid Series prints, dimensions are given in millimeters and inches -- height before width. For New York Series prints, dimensions are given in inches only. Intaglio prints are measured at the plate mark, lithographs at the tallest and widest points of the image.
The dimensions given here for Madrid Series prints are taken from two sources: the Hemingway Collection, and the BNE catalogue. Where discrepancies exist, the BNE dimensions are used.
Various catalogues devoted to Quintanilla or including a selection of his prints give dimensions which may or may not coincide exactly with the dimensions present in the catalogue raisonné, given the changes they may have undergone over time. It is not surprising to see up to a quarter of an inch difference due to changes that have taken place in the paper. Disparities greater than this should be accounted for.
The great majority, if not all of Quintanilla's Madrid prints were printed by Adolfo Ruperez between 1930 and 1934. Quintanilla's relationship with Ruperez began in late1929 or 1930 shortly after the artist returned to Spain from Paris. Ruperez, according to the artist's son Paul Quintanilla in his biography of his father, was "one of Europe's most renowned master printers" (I, 84). Paul Quintanilla quotes his father's description of Ruperez from the artist's memoir, Pasatiempo:
- A pureblooded Madrileno, foul mouthed and picturesque in manner, he [Ruperez] had learned his office in Paris, and when the Great War began returned to his native city. He worked alone, without an assistant and without overtaxing himself either, selecting his clients according to what they brought or because they were more or less sympathetic. With my first plates of engravings I went to his studio to make the proofs. My orientation as an engraver interested him, and he gave some professional advice along the lines of important technical tricks which are always helpful in the plastic arts. And on that first day we became friends going to a tavern together to eat. From that time on, throughout the coming years, I continued engraving between intervals, with Ruperez acting as my printer and critic on technical questions. He brightened whenever he saw my plates, for he was tired and molested by the crudity of those etchers who came to him repeating the old tired themes of a cathedral or plaza in a tiny picturesque town, lacking any delicacy, including an abuse of heavy and pasty ink. And since there were many soft grays and delicate lines in my engravings, he derived an artistic satisfaction in not losing any of their nuances, some of which were conceived by me with an ordinary needle attached to a stick" (translation by Paul Quintanilla, in Waiting at the Shore, I, 84).
During the Spanish Civil War Ruperez was the printer at the Calcographía Nacional* in Madrid. who printed, in 1937, an edition (12th) of Goya's engraved work that included at least the three great series Los Capricos (The Caprices), Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War) and La Tauromaquia (Bullfighting). Apparently the printing was directed at first by the Communists in the government with the intent of sending some of the deluxe editions to their patrons in the Soviet Union. When Juan Negrin, president of the Republic, discovered this plan, he enlisted his friend Quintanilla to take one of the deluxe editions to the United States as a gift for Eleanor Roosevelt -- and in fact, having gone to the United States for the installation of his murals in the Spanish Pavillion at the New York Worlds Fair of 1939, Quintanilla made a side trip to the White House to make the presentation to Mrs. Roosevelt. (Quintanilla, Paul. Waiting at the Shore, I, 223-224).
Paul Quintanilla, in his biography of his father, writes:
- My father wanted the Goyas intended for Mrs. Rossevelt to be specially bound and he went to an "insuperable" maker of book bindings in Barcelona. "I directed theartistic work," he [Luis Quintanilla] tells us, "myself, attending to the elegance and simplicity of the XVIII century in Spain, with its geometric outlines in gold thread tooled onto a magnificent white vellum. And it required a great deal of work on my part to find the materials, including even the wheat flour which is required to make a good paste, for the bookbinder lacked everything."
- When this work was completed he held a press cnference in late November in the Hotel Majestic [in Barcelona?]. The foreign press covering the war showed up including Martha Gelhorn, a close friend of Eleanor Roosevelt's, who wrote to the First Lady telling her that this gift from the Republic was a genuine "emotion" and "not a formal state gesture." He showed the press which gathered that day the etchings and also explained how they had been stamped, "in spite of the circumstances of the war." Each set included a map of the Puerta del Sol, that central Madrid plaza where the Chalcogrphy was located: and on each map the locations of where the Fascists' bombs had landed as Adolfo Ruperez ran off his prints were indicated. (Waiting at the Shore, I, 223-224).
From 1939 through 1952, AAA published five Quintanilla prints, which can be viewed by clicking here. For lithographs, AAA used George C. Miller as printer, for etchings and other intaglio prints a variety of printers, sometimes including the artists themselves, were used. Who printed Quintanilla's AAA prints or other New York prints is not currently known.
All the Brave, including its four lithorgraphs was published by
Quintanilla employed several means of signing prints, though the most common, by far, was the pencil signature placed lower left, sometimes with a date below it, sometimes alone, either in the margin just below the image or crossing into the image. (See examples below, the first two from the early Thirties, the latter two from 1940.)
Signatures in the Plate or on the Stone
Far less common were signatures or initials engraved in the plate of a drypoint or etching. The first illustration immediately below is from the early Thirties, the second is from the mid-Forties. Most prints with engraved signatures also bore pencil signatures appearing just below the platemark.
The four lithographs made for the first edition of All the Brave were signed exclusively on the zinc plates.
Signature executed on the plate for
lithograph from All the Brave
Dubious Signatures and Annotations
Quintanilla was inconsistent in the way he annotated his prints. Various authentic patterns of annotation exist. On some impressions from the Madrid Series, Quintanilla used the space just below the image, l.l., for the title and on others for the numbering. No clearly authentic impressions from the Madrid Series, however, have been observed with a signature on the left and numbering on the right. Furthermore, neither has the numbering pattern of "x/y" been observed on Madrid Series prints known to have been annotated by the artist. Figure A below is an authenticated signature and numbering from entry # 33, La sidreria vasca. The authenticity of the signature and numbering of Fig. B, below, from a different impression of the same print, is dubious.
Public Collections holding this print
Under the above heading, each full entry page lists an abbreviation or series of abbreviations for the institution or institutions holding in their collections an impression of the print featured on that entry page. Each abbreviation is a link that when clicked will take you to the place on the Public Collections Page where the full name of the institution can be found along with a list of all the prints by Luis Quintanilla in its collection. The full name of the museum is also a link which will take you to its own website, and, in some cases, to the web page for its print collection.
One example of the flexibility of this on-line catalogue raisonné is the inclusion of Topic Galleries. These are groupings of thumbnails according to their subject matter or some other organizing principle. To view all the topic galleries for the Quintanilla catalogue, click here. To view a specific topic gallery, click the desired gallery name or sample image presented at the above link. For example
Within each topic gallery, the titles of the included prints and their images are linked to the full entry page for that print. Clicking either the title or image will take you to the full entry page.
Some prints appear in more than one topic gallery. Each full entry page, lists the topic galleries in which that page's print can be found.
Notes Section -- General Comments
The Hemingway Collection
In Ernest Hemingway's preface to the Pierre Mattise Gallery exhibition catalogue of Quintanilla's Madrid Series prints, he points out that Quintainilla was a member in good standing of the traditon that "good Spanish painters are always in trouble." Quintanilla's "trouble" in the autumn of 1934, was that he was arrested in his studio for being a member of the Revolutionary Committee, which intended to oust the government. He was relegated to a cell in Madrid's Carcel Modelo to await trial, and his friend Ernest Hemingway in an attempt to raise funds for his defense, transported several sets of the Madrid prints to New York and arranged to have a sale at the Pierre Matisse Gallery. The show was a reasonable success; however, the unsold prints reverted to the artist and eventually to his family, where they still remain in Hemingway's original portfolios. One full set of the Madrid Series remains in tact. This set plus a selection of other impressions remaining from the Pierre Matisse and subsequent sales continue to reside with the family, where they have always been known as The Hemingway Collection.
Apparently unique to the Hemingway Collection is an unnumbered impression of most prints in the Madrid Series, which bears a title in the artist's hand. This is the only set of titles known to originate with the artist for the Madrid Series prints; and where present, are used as the preferred titles by this catalogue raisonné.
To read more about the exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery, click here, or scroll down the page; and visit the Chronology (at 1934-35) on the website The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla.
Although Quintanilla's prints certainly bear some stylistic similarities to his works in other mediums, especially drawings, the images themselves are usually unique. It is quite uncommon, therefore, to find paintings, drawings, watercolors, etc. of the same subject matter as prints. Nevertheless, there are some compositions in other mediums where a noteworthy similarity to the subject matter of a print exists, so where possible these are shown under the heading Related Works in the Notes section of the relevant entry.
Reproductions in publications
When a print has been reproduced in a publication it is noted under this heading in the notes section of the relevant entry. Each reference is linked to the bibliograhy page where a complete citation appears, along with a list of reproductions of other Quintanilla prints reproduced in that work.
When a print is known to have been included in an exhibition, it is referenced under this heading of the Notes section of the relevant entry and linked to the bibliograhy page where a full citation for the exhibition exists.
Four prints with full or partial coloring are included in the catalogue, all of which may be found within the New York Series and were produced in 1939 and 1940. All are lithographs. Two, Donkeys and Woman Dancing with Child are printed in color, while two, Museum of Modern Art Swept by Fire and Rockefeller Center are partly or fully hand-colored impressions. The reasons for producing this very limited number of prints with color during this period are currently unknown. All of these prints may be accessed by visiting the Color Prints topic gallery.
States: A few observed impressions of Quintanilla's prints have been identified as early states. In some cases, the artist has annotated them as such. (See Garden Boy.) In others there is only the visual evidence of the difference between an early state impression and an impression from the edition. (For example, see Galicia.)
Publishers and Galleries
The Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
In the Fall of 1934, Luis Quintanilla was imprisoned in Madrid by the government which charged him with being a member of the revolutionary committee of the October revolt. Many artists and writers came to his defense. Chief among them was his friend Ernest Hemingway, who arranged for and financed an exhibition of his Madrid life drypoints at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York.
The exhibition ran from November 20, through December 4, 1934. Thirty-nine prints were exhibited. According to a letter from the gallery to Hemingway (dated Dec 12, 1934), thirty prints were sold, ranging in price from $27.50 to $30, for a total of $865.00. After costs and commissions were deducted, the amount of $237.50 was due Hemingway -- and, presumably, Quintanilla. (unpublished letter, Pierre Matisse Gallery Archives, The Morgan Library, New York )
The catalogue for the exhibition contains a checklist of 39 drypoints. The titles listed in Spanish are in some casess the same as those given by Quintanilla and in other cases were apparently created by the Gallery. It is not entirely clear why this disparity exists -- perhaps because the gallery, which obtained its inventory of Quintanilla prints from Hemingway, may not have had impressions with Quintanilla's titles on them and were forced to render their own versions. Or perhaps the gallery may have chosen to change some of the artist's titles for the purposes of clarity and simplicity. For example Quintanilla's title for one is changed from “! OH la ciencia ! fue una broma con Negrin” (“Oh science! This was a joke with Negrin.”) becomes simply "Cientificos" ["Scientists"] in the Pierre Matisse catalogue. Each catalogue raisonné entry for prints included in the Pierre Matisse exhibition uses the artist's title, when there is one, but lists the gallery's title as well.
The catalogue also included two prefaces, one by Ernest Hemingway and one by John Dos Passos. (Click here to read the prefaces.) Along with other artists, writers and intellectuals such as André Malraux, Edmund Wilson,, Henri Matisse, Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, and Thomas Mann, as well as Hemininway and Dos Passos, who were good friends of Quintanilla, rallied to help their fellow artist. Hemingway actually paid for the exhibition and tried to scare up buyers. He wrote to his friend Arnold Gingrich, editior of Esquire, "One of my best Pals is having a show of his etchings at the Pierre Matisse gallery in the Fuller Bldg. . . . The etchings are damned wonderful, the finest drypoints I've ever seen by anybody alive . . . . Do you know anybody you can steam up to go and see these? The stuff is no charity business nor helping out a pal. They'r simply bloody marvelous. If you've got twenty bucks to spend you ought to buy one. The money all goes to Quintanilla excpt twenty percent to Pierre Matisse as dealer. Pierre is all worked up about them and things they're marvelous. I know damned well they are but because I'm his pal I might be supposed to be prejudiced." Dos Passos wrote to Malcolm Cowley, "Say, Malcolm, On Nov. 20, at the Pierre Matisse gallery on E. 57th Street there's going to be an exposition of etchings by Luis Quintanilla. I think he's a great etcher. He's a hell of a good guy and is at present in jail as a member ofthe Madrid revolutionary committee -- if you like the stuff, please try to get the boys to go to bat for it, articles and stuff like that. I'm hoping that if he's hailed as Spain's best etcher -- which he is -- in the great line of Goya etc. it may be possible to circulate a petition of some knd that might induce the Spanish gov't to go a little easy on him. Anyway Quintanilla's work is damn good and he's a wonderful guy and everybody ought to do everything they can to get him out." (Quintanilla, Paul. Waiting at the Shore, V.1. p.p. 111-12.)
According to Paul Quintanilla's biography of his father, Waiting at the Shore, " The flood of protests and petitions which reached Madrid didn't obtain my father's release," but it did result in his recieiving a "highly luxurious" cell in Carcel Modelo, a Madrid prison. "After serving eight months, four days, and three hours in prison Quintanilla [was] released [on June 10, 1935]. That fall his jail drawings [were] shown and La Carcel por Dentro, a book which was made entirely in jail, [was] published." (For more detail on Quintanilla's life, visit the "Chronology of Quintanilla's Art and Life" at The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla.)
Associated American Artists (AAA)
Associated American Art was conceived in 1934 by Reeves Lewenthal, an art world public relations figure. Lewenthal’s idea was to develop a new and more effective method of selling signed, original prints by pricing them cheaply and publicizing them widely. According to Clinton Adams he called a meeting in July, 1934, of a group of American artists to whom he proposed his plan. The group supposedly included Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Doris Lee, Adolf Dehn, Gordon Grant, Boardman Robinson, Grant Wood and others. Adams states, “etchings and lithographs would be published in editions of 250 impressions; they would sell for five dollars each and would be marketed through leading department stores.” (Adams, 140) When some department stores started marking down prices of prints that were not doing well, an angry Lewenthal began advertising directly to the public and selling prints by mail order -- quite successfully. Subsequently many marketing techniques were employed. By 1936, Lewenthal and AAA were doing well enough to move to larger quarters at 420 Madison Avenue and shortly after that to 711 5th Avenue.
Even though 250 impressions (plus 10 artists proofs) was the announced number for all AAA editions, it was not unusual for printers like AAA’s primary lithograher, George Miller, to print in groups of 50 or 100 based on immediate demand. That some editions were never fully issued remains a disputed issue. “Between 1934 and 1949, AAA published a long and diverse series of fine prints -- a total of over one thousand editions” and became a major source of support for artists who might not have otherwise been able to create some of America’s greatest prints. AAA remained a publisher of prints through at least 1959, though the number of editions released was much reduced after 1949 (Adams, 141).
AAA prints were inclined toward the realist, American Scene schools and away from experiments in abstraction that were becoming more and more notable, especially after WWII. The artist who epitomized thier regionalist orientation was Thomas Hart Benton whose Midwestern folk images attracted over 60,000 visitors to an exhibition of his works at the AAA galleries in 1941. Certainly Benton, John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood were chief among the AAA artist-printmakers most responsible for establishing the Gallery’s reputation for publishing high quality regionalist prints. (Watrous,112)
Associated American Artists (AAA) did not restrict itself to publishing and selling prints.Quintanilla's first exhibition at AAA was in Nov. 1939, the year Quintanilla began his exile in the United States. The exhibition's centerpiece was Quintanilla's "monumental mural" created for Spanish Pavilion at the New York World Fair, consisting of five fresco panels, all of which are illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, on the theme of the Spanish Civil War. It is entitled "Love Peace and hate War." The exhibition also included drypoints from the Madrid Series and lithographs from the New York Series, as well as drawings and paintings. (For more on Quintanilla's murals and frescoes visit the website The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla.)
From 1939 through 1952, AAA published five Quintanilla prints which can be viewed by clicking here.
A selected list of exihibitions in which works by Quintanilla appeared, especially those including prints, can be viewed on the Bibliography page. This list is being updated as exhibitions come to our attention.
Publishers of Books that Include Prints
Whatever information is available regarding the publishers of Quintanilla's books containing prints appears on the following pages. For All the Brave, click here. (The preceding link will take you to the website The Art and World of Luis Quintanilla created by Paul Quintanilla, the artist's son.) For Swift's Gulliver's Travels, click here. and for Cervantes' Three Exemplary Novels click here.
Papers used by the artist or his printer(s): Entries for Quintanilla's Madrid Series prints list the paper as Arches, a French wove paper used by many artists and/or their printers. It should be noted that all observed impressions bear the Arches watermark, but not all impressions have been observed. A further discussion of the papers used by Quintanilla and his printers is being prepared.
There is always a chance that prints exist that have not as yet come to our attention and are therefore not included in the catalogue raisonné. The ability to insert a newly found work is, of course, one of the benefits of an on-line or electronic catalogue. All catalogues raisonné remain perpetually in progress, and this one is no exception. Should a visitor to this website know of a print thought to be by Luis Quintanilla, please Contact Us. If it turns out to be authentic, we will include it in the catalogue raisonné and acknowledge the individual and/or organization that has brought it to our attention.
Uncatalogued Prints appearing as illustrations in books
Quintanilla made prints that appeared in three published books:
All the Brave (1939), Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1947) and Cervantes' Three Exemplary Novels (1950). He also created prints intended to appear in two books that were never published: Life in Manhattan (c. 1939-1940) and Poe's "The Raven" and "The Bells" (c. 1950).
The prints made for two of these books, All the Brave and Life in Manhattan are catalogued (included in the catalogue raisonné proper) and may be viewed by clicking their respective links just above.
Prints made for the other three (Gulliver's Travels, Three Exemplary Novels and "The Raven and The Bells" are not included in the catalogue raisonné for several reasons:
First the method of creation for these three fall outside, or at least on the edge, of the definition of what is required to constitute an original print, in that the image on the plate involves a photo-mechanical process.
To make the prints, Quintanilla derived his own process which allowed him to draw his images directly onto coated, translucent cellophane sheets. This provided a drawing surface much closer to paper than drawing in a ground covered plate in the manner traditionally used in etching. Then by passing light through the cellophane onto a zinc plate covered with a photosensitive emulsion, he could transfer the image to the plate. Finally, by means of an application of acid, the image was etched onto the plate from which the impressions would be printed. Like photographic negatives, the blacks and whites on the cellophanes are reversed, but when printed regain their original orientation.
Second, only the prints made for All the Brave and Life in Manhattan do not serve to illustrate the work of authors but stand on their own as wholly conceived by the artist.
Third, only among the prints made for All the Brave and Life in Manhattan can impressions be found that are signed by the artist -- suggesting he considered these works as worthy of standing on their own as part of his oeuvre.
Examples of illustrations made as prints may be viewed by clicking here.
Because this catalogue raisonné is in progress, it is periodically subject to revisions being made as new or corrected information is discovered and introduced. Every time a significant change is made to any page in the catalogue raisonné, it is recorded in the Revision Log. Each entry in the log is, in turn, linked to the page on which the revision has been made. Log entries began as of Oct. 1, 2006. Changes made before this date are not recorded.
Also, each page in the catalogue carries a revision date stamp at the bottom of the page, which indicates when the last change of any kind to that page has been made. Should a visitor to the page wish to learn what the latest significant change to that page is, click the Revision Log link in the left column of any page and scroll down to the date in question. Only significant revisions, however, are recorded in the log, even though the date stamp changes with every revision. Changes in punctuation, corrections of minor misspellings, etc. are generally not recorded.
For abbreviations of museums and other public collections
holding Fiene prints, click here.
Other abbreviations that appear in the catalogue are as follows:
=Associated American Artists
=American Artists Group
=American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project
=Certificate of Authenticity, a document accompanying an impression of a print, issued by a publisher and given to a buyer.
=not for sale (hors commerce,
French for outside of commerce
), coomonly referring to prints outside of an edition; e.g. artists proofs are hors commerce
, Latin for "he or she printed it." (When the "Imp" follows the artist's signature, it means the artist also printed the impression.)
.=lower center [just below image]; l.l.
=lower left; l.r.
=lower right; l.b.l
.=lower bottom [of sheet] left; l.b.c
.= lower bottom center; l.b.r
.=lower bottom right
=no date known
= Smithsonian Archives of American Art
(The list of abbreviations is in the process of being expanded.)
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The left column of every page of the catalogue contains a menu of links that will take the user to every other section of the catalogue. At the top of each page are links to the American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project (APOCRP) section of the site: Home Page, the About APOCRP page, the Contact Us page, and the search page.
Near the top right of each full entry page, is a series of links (First Entry || Previous Entry || Next Entry || Final Entry) designed to allow the user to move numerically through the catalogue full entry by full entry or at any time go to the beginning or end of the numerical catalogue. Click here to see and try an example of these links at the top right of an entry page.
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In order to determine if information on a given page has changed since a previous visit, consult the date stamp at the bottom of that page. (Please be aware that the date reflects any revision made, from something as major as a change in the number of impressions in an edition to the correction of a typographical error.) More significant revisions are recored in the Revision Log.
This page last revised: Saturday, March 17, 2007