In his work as a sculptor and draftsman, Joan Rebull (Reus, Tarragona, 1899 – Barcelona, 1981) generated a synthesis between the archaic world, classicism and modernity. At the age of 19, he became part of the group Els Evolucionistes [The Evolutionists], influenced by the work of Cézanne, and at 22, he traveled to Paris. In 1926 he held his first sculpture exhibit at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid.
In his drawings of 1929 he connected with the artistic avant-garde, specifically with Surrealism. His sculptures, on the other hand, focused on the search for a hieratic and synthetic realism of pure forms. Of particular interest are his portraits of children in crude clay, patinated plaster, bronze, and polychrome stone, and his allegorical figures of reclining and standing women. He lived in France until 1930 where he cultivated friendships with Picasso and Paul Éluard.
During the years of the Spanish Republic he contributed reliefs and sculptures to several architectural and decorative projects. Alongside the painter Ignasi Mallol, Rebull promoted the Taller-Escola de Pintura i Escultura [Painting and Sculpture Studio-School] in Tarragona, with the objective of renewing artistic education. During the Spanish Civil War, he committed to safeguarding artistic heritage. He was exiled in France and furthered his career with a number of international collaborations. He returned from exile in 1948 and during his latter period he produced public sculptures, particularly in Barcelona and in the Montserrat Monastery.