© José Gutiérrez Solana. VEGAP, Madrid, 2022


El beso de Judas
The Kiss of Judas
José Gutiérrez Solana
Oil on canvas
Printed area size: 228 × 208 cm
Measures with a framework: 235 × 215 cm
Signed in the lower right corner
Born: Madrid, 1886
Died: Madrid, 1945

© José Gutiérrez Solana. VEGAP, Madrid, 2022


El beso de Judas [The Kiss of Judas] is one of the most masterful and well constructed paintings of a procession by José Gutiérrez Solana. Although it was elaborated through a series of superimposed friezes that are three levels deep, it appears as though all the elements fall within the same multicolored plane. This method for representing depth was considered “infantile” and even “primitive” by academics, but was also used by other artists who were interested in this type of scene, such as Belgian painter James Ensor.

José Gutiérrez Solana’s use of perspective is quite unorthodox in relation to traditional art, as is his manipulation of light and color. Light and shadows envelop the characters’ faces in a non-logical way, obeying expressive mechanisms rather than the laws of physics. The darkness of night does not seem to affect the figures within the sculptural ensemble of the Kiss of Judas, whose skin and clothing shine with a light of their own.

Regarding this type of motif, Solana went so far as to declare: “The figures in the processions—atop the pasos [floats]—interest me only as figures, as dolls; not because of the subject they embody or the ideology they represent… They interest me as the figures they are, whether they are in a procession or in a carnival masquerade.”


© José Gutiérrez Solana. VEGAP, Madrid, 2022

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