IGNACIO ZULOAGA AND THE PROBLEM OF SPAIN
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ABSTRACT Title of dissertation: IGNACIO ZULOAGA AND THE PROBLEM OF SPAIN Dena Crosson, Doctor of Philosophy, 2009 Dissertation directed by: Professor June Hargrove Department of Art History and Archeology This dissertation examines the career of Ignacio Zuloaga (1870-1945), a highly successful and influential artist during his lifetime, in the context of nationalism and the political and cultural conditions that informed his artistic persona. Positioning himself to both Spanish and foreign audiences as the "painter of Spain," his style and subject matter simultaneously exploited foreign preconceptions about Spain while serving as a lightning rod for the critical nationalist discourse preoccupying Spanish political and cultural leaders during the first decades of the twentieth century. In the 1910s and 1920s the vernacular nationalism he practiced was not opposed to modernism. But by the 1930s, nationalism had become associated with rising fascist movements both in Europe and in Spain. Through a series of case studies this dissertation problematizes the issue of modernism in art and fills an important gap in the study of the critical role of nationalism for the struggle between tradition and modernity in the arts in early twentieth-century Spain. Chapter One examines Zuloaga's influence in France through his affiliation with a group of French artists known as La Bande Noire and describes his important contribution to the rediscovery of El Greco in the last years of the nineteenth century. Chapter Two explores Zuloaga's discovery of the province of Castilla in 1898 as a subject for his work. It charts the significance of Castilla for the nationalist project of the Generation of 98 as well as for the regenerationist Institución Libre de Enseñanza (Free Institute of Learning). Chapter Three maps the growing links between Zuloaga and traditionalist and fascist ideologies, both in France and in Spain, in the 1910s and 1920s. Chapter Four investigates Zuloaga's career both in the context of the foundation and fall of Spain's Second Republic (1931-1939) and the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath. Zuloaga's career provides a significant case study for the gradual alignment, of what became traditionalism, with right-wing political ideology, an alignment by no means necessarily apparent before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936.