Cosmopolitan. Modern. Art Deco
Rafael de Penagos is considered as the artist that introduced Art Deco illustration into Spain. This illustrator played a fundamental role in modernizing Spanish illustration at the beginning of the 20th century and was the precursor to a new ideal of a modern and stylish feminine figure. The "women Penagos" are recognizable for their extreme modernity and sophisticated dress sense as well as their ways of behaving. They are a new kind of woman who has short hair, smokes and has a varied social and intellectual life.
The point of Penagos' drawings was to introduce Spanish society of the time to new European trends. It was the ideal time to do so given that the openness of the 1920s was allowing for an aesthetic renewal to take place and any influences from the main European capitals were received with admiration.
Through the pages of magazines such as La Esfera, Blanco y Negro, Nuevo Mundo and ABC, and on the posters created for the Circle of Fine Arts and the companies Floralia and Gal, the artist portrays those "happy years of the 1920s" while configuring a new feminine ideal: "the modern Eve".
Fundación MAPFRE owns the most important collection of Rafael de Penagos' works, comprising around a hundred works, among which are original drawings and first editions of his published illustrations. This exhibition showcases some of these works.