This work is very different from other, much more official and romantic ones made by the Spanish painter Eduardo Rosales during the 19th century, such as El testamento de Isabel La Católica. And it is that Rosales, like his contemporary Mariano Fortuny, have their most official production in which in many cases they show us as painters imbued with the Romanticism of the time. But in parallel they were able to develop another much freer line, and also much more private, since the truth is that they did not live from this type of works, but from the most official ones.
Eduardo Rosales Nude
Here Rosales introduces us to a woman, who coincidentally is the same model, called Nicolina, that he used for one of his most famous canvases: The Death of Lucrecia, but the attitude is very different. In this nude it can be seen that there is no premeditation, and everything is much more loose and spontaneous, and he even voluntarily left this canvas from 1869 unfinished. Although there are also those who say that this work is nothing more than a preview of Lucrecia's great canvas, since the props are repeated.
The fact is that we are facing a sketch taken from life, something really unthinkable in the period of the strictest academicism. And therefore it is a touch of modernity.
It's also very modern that he clearly plays with the whitish hue of the canvas itself, something he would do years laterToulouse Lautrec. But it is not the only terribly modern thing in the work that the Museo del Prado del Madrid possesses. It is clear that this pose can also remind us of certain works by Edgar Degas, such as Woman drying herself after a bath. But in addition to the theme, here we see that the whole scene is united by a luminous atmosphere, combining light and color in a way similar to that used years later by the French impressionists.
However, this relationship with Impressionism should not be sought in the decomposition of light, treating it as a formal problem. No. His approach is more intuitive and of course the similarities are based on his way of painting that unitary atmosphere.
Of course, Eduardo Rosales was a true wonder for painting, since works like these that he did at will, he was able to finish them in a single session, which is a demonstrative index of the ease and ability with which he developed his craft. In fact, in this case that lack of final retouching does the work a lot of good, and manages to capture all the freshness of the scene. Something that is not an impediment so that at the same time the work has a monumental character, despite its sketchiness.