Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Marilyn Brown

Second Advisor

James Córdova

Third Advisor

Robert Nauman

Abstract

In this thesis, I analyze the critical framings of modernista artists Ramon Casas' (1866-1932) and Santiago Rusiñol's (1861-1931) paintings and their connection with the artistic currents of nineteenth-century France in recent scholarship. I contend that contemporary reception of this aspect of their work has been conditioned and limited by the ideological view of Catalan modernity as a mere adoption and uneven application of Parisian models. This view echoes traditional framings of Spain by historians and writers as a peripheral and "backward" country dependent upon Northern-European models of modernization. Using case studies, I offer an alternative approach to examine Casas and Rusiñol's responsiveness to French art and culture that reinserts the artists' agency when viewed through the lens of intercultural appropriation. Instead of marking their works as products of artistic "provincialism," I situate specific paintings by these artists as creative translations rather than derivative emulations of their artistic sources from abroad.

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