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Four issues of LA FARSA; covers illustrated by Félix Alonso. 1928-1930

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michellerduB…'s loves8 of 32JUEGO DE BOLOS, book with illustrations by Joaquín Xaudaró (1926)Large Capodimante Base?
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    Posted 6 years ago

    austrohung…
    (584 items)

    I felt in love with this illustrations yesterday evening.

    Every Spring and aAutumn Madrid holds an Antiquarian Book Fair, so a few dozens stands are erected in the very central Paseo de Recoletos and sellers from all around Spain offer their antique, rare and second hand books. We went there yesterday -as a prelude of the long weekend starting today- and suddenly I found, and felt in love, with the first cover I'd ever seen from this books series called LA FARSA (pic1).

    LA FARSA (Farce in English) was a series of weekly theater books. Each issue offered one or two plays -drama, comedy...- by both Spanish and international playwriters, which was published between 1927 and 1936 -I guess they stopped publishing it when the Civil War started-. Although they later started using photographes to illustrate the covers, during the first years they used lithographic illustrations by Alonso, an artist I've been unable to find any information about on the internet, but who certainly was an excellent one. I absolutely love the modernity of his drawings, the bold colours, the avant-garde look about them...

    The first cover shows a Picassesque design, quite reminiscent of the clothes designs made by Picasso for the ballet El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat), composed in 1919 by Manuel de Falla and that was choreographed by Léonide Massine when it was first released in London by Diaguilev's Russian Ballets ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO76VMryY9U ). the second one depicts Don Juan Tenorio, one of the most important characters in Spanish theater (which is the same Don Giovanni in Mozart's opera). The third cover shows a comic character, from which I love the way it0s been srawn, specially the lights and shades of his clothes. But I absolutely love the strength of the mediaeval character on pic.4

    - - -

    From the early 1920s until the begining of our Civil War in 1936 Spain lived a Golden Age in terms of science, literature, culture, music and art, developed in a time of absolute political crisis, with a weak Monarchy that left the government in the hands of a dictator, which led to Spain becoming a Republic in 1931, and then the total political chaos which led to the Civil War five years later. But somehow, the best of our 20th century music and art and literature comes from this period.

    - - -

    Updated May 7th:

    I've been able to at least find out Alonso's first name: Félix. I've still haven't found out much about him, but at least I know that in 1932 he won, along with Ramón Peinador, the contest for the Carnival Masks Ball for the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid... I've also found out that Félix Alonso also made illustrations for Gente Menuda, one of the best -and few- magazies for kids in the 1930s.

    I hope I will be able to find more info about him soon.

    - - -

    Updated May 11th:

    More news about Félix Alonso González (apart from finding out his complete last name). I went to the Museo ABC de Dibujo e Ilustración (ABC Museum of Drawing and Illustration) to check some books hoping to find at least a biography of this and other illustrators. I didn't, but on a book about the Gente Menuda children's magazine I found out that he's one of the artists that worked at the mytical Spanish Pavillion for the 1937 Paris Exhibition, where Picasso's world famous Guernica was exhibited for the first time. He did as an "advertising artist". In fact I've found out a text on the Pavillion where they mention Alonso as a poster designer. During the war he worked for the Republican press and once it was over he did mostly for advertising and poster design (my guess is mostly for the movies). I hope to find more about this incredible artist although it's quite hard. There was another Félix Alonso González in Spain's art scene of the time, an sculptor, so every name search on the internet takes to him...

    - - -

    On a later search I've found a book on Spanish poster design. It mentions a 1948 poster exhibition in which Alonso took part, so that proves he went on working as a poster designer-

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    Comments

    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
      stunning!!! love the art deco design...
    2. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thanks SEAN!!! Glad to hear you like these!
    3. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      By the way, I'm leaving again the link for the ballet when it was released in Madrid at the reopening gala of the Teatro Real -our Opera theater- in 1997. They used the original Picasso designs.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO76VMryY9U
    4. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Although you might prefer this one from the 2013 BBC Proms.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_kGIPwdneY
    5. SEAN68 SEAN68, 6 years ago
      Your very welcome austro............ great links as well!!
    6. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thanks for your love MIKE and KEV!!!

      As for the links, of course the costumes and stage designs are amazing in the Madrid concert, but I somehow see that music and dance aren't joined enough... that's why I like the Proms one better
    7. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      VIOLET and BELLE EPOQUE, thanks so much for your love!!!!
    8. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      By the way... I know I shouldn't but searching the internet I've found a lot of these for sale. The four most beautiful ones will be at home next week ;)
    9. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      Of course I think these are fantastic...the design, colour and as you say light and shade, show great talent.
      Interesting about the golden age in Spain. Imagine what would have developed in the arts if the civil war had not begun, much as I have wondered about the same in Germany and Poland (many others too) if WII did not start.
    10. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thanks for your love AGH, LISA, HUNTER and KAREN!

      Well, KAREN, it's always hard to especulate about what could have happened if... But at least you know what really happened. This 20s/30s period in Spain was quite a progressive one. The War ended up with a 36 years extreme right winged dictatorship that was so conservative women lost many of the rights and liberties they got during the previous years. They had to be only "good wives and mothers of new Spaniards" (there are texts telling what women should do when their husbands return home after work that nowadays makes you laugh, even if you realize such limited points of view they had)... On the other han d, censorship was general in both literature and the arts (what at the end ended up being a good thing as at some point made writers and movie directors -to name just a few- achieve a level of wittiness to critizice the governement that was never detected by them... so the crazy country we are right now comes directly from those facts.
    11. fledermaus fledermaus, 6 years ago
      These are wonderful!
    12. Ivonne Ivonne, 6 years ago
      Very interesting post and impressive covers.They look so modern.
      Pardoxically,politically hard times and censorship created a lot of good things in art,theatre,literature etc.Karen mentioned Poland,where we had really good design and many innovative artists in 60s and 70s during those bad times.
    13. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thanks for your love (and/or comments) FLEDERMAUS, CORMORAN, TREY, SKLO and IVONNE!

      Polish design and art from the 60s/70s are amazing!
    14. racer4four racer4four, 6 years ago
      One of the great things about CW is learning and discussing with knowledgeable and intelligent people. Thanks for the post and comments!
    15. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Do you include me in the "knowledgeable and intelligent people"? Woo, you're so sweet Karen! ;)

      Seriously, what I love about CW is that everybody here -or almost everybody- is willing to share. Much have been said about people on social networks not being trustworthy and so on, but it really seems it doesn't happen here.
    16. inky inky, 6 years ago
      These are wonderful..as wells your write up!....Passion!!!...sometimes brings out the best in people, in many different ways and forms ...thanks for sharing these wonderful works of art with us....:-)
    17. Rick55 Rick55, 6 years ago
      Beautiful, beautiful artwork Austro!! I love them!
    18. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thanks so very much for your love and your comments INKY and RICK!!!

      Inky... you'll made blush ;)
    19. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      I've been able to at least find out Alonso's first name: Félix. I've still haven't found out much about him, but at least I know that in 1932 he won, along with Ramón Peinador, the contest for the Carnival Masks Ball for the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid... I've also found out that Félix Alonso also made illustrations for Gente Menuda, one of the best -and few- magazies for kids in the 1930s.

      I hope I will be able to find more info about him soon.
    20. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thnaks for loving MANI, HO2CULTCHA and MICHELLERDUBOIS!!!
    21. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      More news about Félix Alonso González (apart from finding out his complete last name*). I went to the Museo ABC de Dibujo e Ilustración (ABC Museum of Drawing and Illustration) to check some books hoping to find at least a biography of this and other illustrators. I didn't, but on a book about the Gente Menuda children's magazine I found out that he's one of the artists that worked at the mytical Spanish Pavillion for the 1937 Paris Exhibition, where Picasso's world famous Guernica was exhibited for the first time. He did as an "advertising artist". In fact I've found out a text on the Pavillion where they mention Alonso as a poster designer. During the war he worked for the Republican press and once it was over he did mostly for advertising and poster design (my guess is mostly for the movies). I hope to find more about this incredible artist although it's quite hard. There was another Félix Alonso González in Spain's art scene of the time, an sculptor, so every name search on the internet takes to him...

      * Last names in Spain work differently from how they work in almost the rest of the world. We've got a double one, being the first one the one we get from our father and the second one the one we get from our mother (in Portugal is almost simmilar, only somebody's first last name is that of the mother's). So when Mr. Alonso marries Ms. González, their children will bear the last name "Alonso González". Of course Mr. Alonso (and his wife), will have a doble last name, but even if that's your legal name, and needed in any paperwork you have to do, it's seldom used on a daily basis.
      Ladies will be interested in learning that Spanish women never lose their last names. So when Ms. González Martínez marries Mr. Alonso she will continue being Ms. González Martinez. Until 1975 she would be called Ms. González de Alonso, although it was just a "social name", the legal name still being the one she was born with.
    22. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thanks for your lve VINTAGELAMP!!!!
    23. austrohungaro austrohungaro, 6 years ago
      Thank yOu so muchb for your love NORDICMAN!!!

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