Celso Lagar (Ciudad Rodrigo, Salamanca, 1891 – Seville, 1966), the son of a religious sculptor, began his career in his father’s woodworking studio. In 1907, he moved to Madrid to study alongside sculptor Miguel Blay and from 1910 he continued his training at the Escola de la Llotja [Llotja School] in Barcelona. The following year he moved to Paris on a scholarship and came into contact with Amedeo Modigliani and Jean Metzinger. Lagar also met French sculptor Hortense Bégué, who would become his wife. In 1913 he held his first solo exhibition at Galerie Ashnur. In 1915 Lagar and Bégué exhibited their works together at Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona. Influenced by Cubism and Futurism, the artist himself coined the term Plainism to refer to his works at the time.
The circus motifs he explored during the 1920s demonstrate Picasso’s influence. Lagar also painted the landscapes of Normandy, which evoked Spanish life and art, and in the 1920s he engaged with the world of bullfighting as an artistic subject. During the Spanish Civil War he supported the Republican cause. When World War II came to an end, he once again exhibited in Paris and in other French cities. After the death of Hortense Bégué in 1956 he abandoned painting.