Hermen Anglada Camarasa

Hermen Anglada-Camarasa (Barcelona 1871 – Port de Pollença 1959) began his pictorial career in Catalonia and developed it in Paris, where he was fascinated by the nightlife scenery; he created his own style and soon achieved international fame. He won many awards and his works became known in Europe, Russia, Argentina and the USA.

In 1908, he travelled from Paris to Majorca and, captivated by the island’s light and colours, he spent several longer stays in Port de Pollença before going back to the big city. In the summer of 1914, with eighteen of his most important works exhibited at the Biennale in Venice, he was forced to prolong his stay in Pollença when the war broke out until he finally decided to settle in this small fishing village; this decision would be a major turning point in his career. Leaving behind his cosmopolitan past, he enthusiastically devoted himself to understanding and portraying the Mediterranean light and landscape in a decorative way, a key point among his pictorial ideals.

The scenery of Pollença was splendid, diverse and changing. In Paris, he would use artificial light effects to bring out the colours, but in Pollença they arise spontaneously as he lets himself go with the joy of nature. Moreover, Pollença offered him an unknown peace of mind, a quiet and simple life in contact with its residents as he joined them in leisure activities. Friends and acquaintances from Paris visited him to share with him the delights and privileges of such an enclave, creating new networks and structures that supported the emerging tourism in the area. As he settled down, he acquired a piece of land where he planted some fruit trees, and made a garden to his own personal taste that would provide him with new motifs for his paintings. Throughout those years, his work would become well known in several Spanish cities and also in a new market: the United States.

The outbreak of the Spanish Civil War caught Anglada by chance in Barcelona, where he was holding a landscape exhibition, and because of his Republican background, he was obliged to postpone his return. With the unfolding of events, and after a stay in Montserrat, in January 1939 he went into exile in France with his wife and his daughter Beatriu, in an attempt to travel to America. But the German army took over Paris and he was forced to leave the capital and settle in a small village within the Nièvre region, in the centre of the country. Struggling to paint and eager to return to Majorca from the very first moment, he did not obtain a visa until 1948, which allowed him to find his little paradise again, the house he had left only for a few days twelve years earlier, and his friends, and where he lived happily until his death.

Silvia Pizarro. Art Historian.