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Cau Ferrat Museum

Abandoned Palace

Santiago Rusiñol, Abandoned Palace, 1898, Víznar (Granada), oil on canvas

Santiago Rusiñol, Abandoned Palace, 1898, Víznar (Granada), oil on canvas

Santiago Rusiñol embarked on his third trip to Granada in December 1897 with Genís Muntaner, his right-hand man in Sitges, who kept watch over Cau Ferrat in the absence of its owner, and with the painter and good friend Ramon Pichot. The outcome was around 40 paintings featuring the gardens of Granada, especially the Generalife. Among the paintings that he resisted selling, there were five of which he was particularly fond. The proof is that two of them currently hang in the Cau Ferrat: this is one of them, and the other is Interior del Palau de Víznar (Interior of Viznar Palace) in the Sala del Brollador (Fountain Room).

He painted all five in February and March 1898 in Víznar, a little village near Granada. The only backdrop in all paintings is the Palace of Cuzco, an old episcopal mansion built in the late 18th century. When he saw the large house and spacious gardens around it, the artist was astounded by the extraordinary sense of solitude and abandonment conveyed by the place, the same sense that we experience today in front of the artwork.

The weeds among the boxwood, the empty pond, the half-erased graffito, the broken windows… all the details spark melancholy and talk about the ineluctable passage of time.

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