Monday, June 10, 2019

Before and After Morphine

Spanish painter Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931) painted a young woman before and after taking morphine.
Santiago Rusiñol — Before Morphine, 1894
In the first painting she's sitting up in a bed, her head lost in the shadow. Her arm looks thin and emaciated.

Santiago Rusiñol — Morphine's Girl
After she falls under the influence of the drug, her head sinks back on the pillow, and her fingers clutch at the covers. Her change in mental state is expressed mainly with the pose of her arm and with her surroundings.

According to the Museu del Cau Ferrat, which includes one of the paintings: "The morphine addict in the painting is Stephanie Nantas, the painter’s favourite model during the months he was staying in the apartment in Quai Bourbon. She appears in nearly ten works that Rusiñol produced anonymously during that period."
Museu del Cau Ferrat
Santiago Rusiñol on Wikipedia


Steve said...

Thanks for the introduction to another previously unknown painter. I wonder if the date for the top painting should be 1894 rather than 1984.

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Steve. I fixed the goof. Yes, he's best known for his garden paintings (maybe I'll show those in a future post), and was part of the Modernisme movement. An influence on Picasso, they say, but I'm not sure what that influence would entail.

Bill Wilson said...

I apologize if I'm missing something. What does the last sentence mean? It's seems to be only part of a thought that wasn't finished. "Only the painting that bears the girl’s name..." Survives? Has her name?

Bevan said...

Fascinating how the artist in the first scene includes more detail to the background and that even the linens show fractal lines more associated with pain. Yet the second scene had all the details and fractal smoothed out, lost in the haze of the morphine.

James Gurney said...

Stephen, I wondered about that line, too, so I dropped it. I think it's confusing because it was Google translated. The gist of it seems to be that the two paintings are separated. One is in the Cau Ferrat Museum in Barcelona, and the other is in a private collection.