American Printmakers On-line Catalogue Raisonné Project
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Thumbnails, Part 4:
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A Biographical Chronology
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The Art and World of
Luis Quintanilla

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Copyright ©
by Jeffrey Coven
The Prints of Luis Quintanilla:
A Catalogue Raisonné
(in progress)
Full Entry Catalogue
Catalogue Entry #: 49
Title: Untitled [Fiesta -- Woman Dancing with Child]
Series: New York Prints

Click the image for enlargement.
The horizontal lines appearing in the image above are the result of damage to the only fully in tact impression available to be photographed. They are not original to the lithograph itself.
(Photo Courtesy of Alia Souels-Parker and Joan Souels)

Date: c. 1939*

Medium: Lithograph**

Edition: Currently Unknown (CU)***

Dimensions: 65 1/2. x 46 in. (166.5 x 116.6 cm)****

Printer: CU

Paper: CU

Signature: CU

Public collections holding this print: CU

Topic galleries for this print:
Performance, Entertainment and Celebration
Studies of Women


*Date and History: This print was exhibited at Associated American Artists (AAA) in November, 1939 as part of an exhibition entitled "Luis Quintanilla." A second large color lithograph (See Catalogue entry # 48.) was also presented at this exhibition and was dated 1939, on the print by the artist.

In his review of this exhibition, Edward Alden Jewell of the New York Times writes, "This exhibition contains, besides all this, two colored lithographs one of which, about 4 1/2 by 6 feet in dimensions, must be the largest lithogrpah at present on view in New York. It is the largest print known to have been done by Quintainilla.

In a letter to a "Mr. Ostroll" dated December 24, 1941, Quintanilla writes:

My sincere thanks for your letter and for the interest you show in my work. The lithograph of which you speak is one that I did. But even I cannot explain what it represents; as you know an artist says things with figures and is at a loss for words to express their meaning. What I can tell you is that that lithograph, leaving to one side its artistic merit, is the first to be done in all colors in its extraordinary size. Also, I shall take the liberty of telling you something of its history. When I was a new arrival here in 1939 a gentleman of New York who had intervened in the execution of my book All the Brave, proposed that I do a monumental lithograph - let us call it that. A three-sided agreement was made in which the gentleman of New York was to pay all the paper and work shop expenses connected with making the lithograph, Associated American Artists Gallery was to try to sell it, and I was to do the work. I drew the seven large plates, each in one color, and I directed the printing. In the meantime the gentleman of New York went off to Europe, and since he did not pay the cost of the printing to Interstate Lithography Company in Brooklyn, they refused to recognize my rights and I lost the work. You will realize that the artist is always the most wronged, and for that reason I would appreciate it if you would tell me from whom you bought the lithograph and how much you paid for it. I have no no [sic] intention of complicating matters, but it grieves me, as you can easily understand, that a work of mine which is extraordinary in proportions at least, has brought me nothing but displeasure. I am very glad that since you enjoy the lithograph you have a copy in your possession, and wish to thank you again for your expressed admiration. Sincerely yours, Luis Quintanilla (Text of this letter appears courtesy of Visible Ink Inc. P.O. Box 474. Roslyn Heights, NY 11577,

**Medium and Color: This lithograph was printed in seven colors, using seven separate plates (as indicated by the artist in his letter reproduced just above). It is only one of two Quintanilla prints known to be printed completely in color, both lithographs, the other being catalogue entry 48. (See the topic gallery Color Prints.)

The size of the lithograph suggests the use of two or more zinc plates as the

***Edition: Two impressions have been reported.

****Dimensions: The accuracy of the dimensions given are limited by the fact that the measured impression is mounted and framed, with the visible image extending at least to and possibly slightly beyond the inner edge of the frame.


These photos, courtesy of the estate of the artist, are not from the same impression as the one shown in the photograph above.

Provenance: The unverified provenance of one impression of this lithorgaph has been reported as follows: ownership by the singer/dancer/actress, Josephine Baker (1906, St. Louis -- 1975, Paris) who received it as a gift from the artist (n.d.). She in turn gave it to her friend, fellow-dancer and understudy, Emily Miles (n.d.), who made a gift of it to her student Alia Souels-Parker (c. 1985). (This information reported by and courtesy of Joan Souels).

Related Work: In 1938, Juan Negrin, president of the Spanish Republic, commissioned Luis Quintanilla to paint a series of frescoes for the pavilion of the Spanish Republic at the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. Quintanilla traveled to the Unites States to paint the frescoes; however, the victory of the fascists in the Spanish Civil War having intervened, the frescoes were not allowed to be hung by the government of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. After a very long and tortuous odyssey in New York City, these works were finally returned to Spain in 2007. (See "Los Otros Guernicas".)

One of the five fresco panels entitled "Pain" (See below.) contains the figure of a woman holding a child clearly similar to the figure in the lithograph above -- even though the gallery title for the lithograph was "Fiesta."

Photo courtesy of Esther Lopez Sobrado

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This page last revised: Saturday, March 24, 2007