Catedral - La Habana, Cuba
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Ariberna
N 23° 08.469 W 082° 21.100
17Q E 361614 N 2559786
Quick Description: Paint of René Portocarrero
Location: Cuba
Date Posted: 9/2/2021 2:37:44 PM
Waymark Code: WM14WQJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fi67
Views: 3

Long Description:
"This oil on canvas by the Cuban painter René Portocarrero exposes a distinctive landscape of Cuba, highlights its Catholic part by showing the old temple as the country's insignia.

GABRIELA SABINA BRAVO, first-year student of Journalism, Faculty of Communication, University of Havana.

The Cathedral, by the Cuban painter René Portocarrero, is an oil on canvas that has been in the National Museum of Fine Arts since 1967 as a representation of one of his most important works, since it shows Havana from a religious perspective, like never before it had been brought to light. With this painting he won the prize of the VIII National Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures, in 1956.

In the middle of the 20th century, mulatto women, rum and tobacco were the inspiration used by plastic artists to define Cuba, René Portocarrero, however, exhibited one of the most emblematic buildings of Old Havana, the Cathedral, declared even in 1982, a World Heritage Site.

Despite actually being a paint-free building, where peace and tranquility reign, the artist portrays a lively and harmonious construction due to the use of warm colors such as blue, red and yellow in the filling. For the background, use black and show the temple at dusk.

About this piece, the painter said: “My intention was to reflect Catholicism as a feeling of joy and brightness for the soul, contrary to what many see as an act of resignation and sadness in a kind of social call and what better representation than the distinguished Havana Cathedral ”.

The theme of The Cathedral was addressed in two other identical paintings, but with different colors: The Cathedral in red and The Cathedral in yellow. In this, the second, the painter transmits a contrast of ideas between the dark and the tones, perhaps between the tormented history of Catholicism and the beautiful faith that he imbues in the people who practice this religion.

On the subject, the journalist and poet Rómulo Loredo Alonso, specified: “Portocarrero was a visionary, he liked to address this issue in his works, he demonstrated it in each of his paintings but he wanted to face the subject from a joyful perspective, not like everyone else. the others who portrayed the sad image of Jesus on a cross ”.

The oil on canvas, 123 centimeters long by 88.7 wide, was completed in 1956 and one of the techniques that the artist most used on it was tempera painting, where water is the solvent for the pigment.

The straight and parallel lines are the protagonists of the piece. The nuances of the colors are observed in high and strong tones to give a feeling of life. Between the abstract and the concrete, the doors and windows stand out, surrounded by ornaments in the shapes of circles and triangles, with the aim of achieving greater expressiveness.

Until now, the importance of La Catedral has arrived, as the artist chose the subject due to the pigeonhole of the representation of the country through paintings with cigars, rum and black or mulatto women, these became the most acclaimed by foreigners, who prefer them buy as a souvenir of the Island rather than a portrait of an ancient and important sculpture.

Despite having spent 60 years since the creation of the painting, the advanced vision of René Portocarrero is witnessed by impregnating the theme of religion with colors, with vividness and not as a dark theme full of sadness as is often reflected by various artists the cliché of Jesus Christ crucified.

The piece is an example of how to judge and criticize through art, it constitutes a model to be followed by current plastic artists, a method of eliminating any artistic cliché, of creating and painting with meaning and with messages without superficiality.

The work constitutes a challenge for the viewer due to its almost hidden message and the need to delve into the social context in order to understand its meaning, which not only remains a simple portrait of an ancient architectural structure.

It provides in a simple way and with a single plane, a different vision of reality, it is more than a painting with a religious style, it breaks with the rules of the plastic arts of the time and continues to be in force today.

Caption: The Cathedral has been on permanent display since 1967 when the Great Retrospective Exhibition of René Portocarrero, its author, was held (Photo: Taken from the website WWW.LAJIRIBILLA.CU)."

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Artist: René Portocarrero

Date of Your Photograph: 7/18/2019

Medium of Painting: oil on canvas

Date of Painting: Not listed

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Ariberna visited Catedral - La Habana, Cuba 9/5/2021 Ariberna visited it