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    Duque Uribe, Rafael
    La exposición de pintura de Pedro Nel Gómez / Rafael Duque Uribe
    Senderos (Bogotá, Colombia). -- Vol. 1, no. 6 (Jul. 1934)
    p. 311-313 : ill.
    Journal article – Essays
    Duque de Uribe, Rafael. “La exposición de pintura de Pedro Nel Gómez.” Senderos (Bogotá, Colombia), vol. I, no. 6 (July 1934): 311–313.

The Colombian art critic Rafael Duque Uribe discusses his impressions of the exhibition of works by the mural painter Pedro Nel Gómez at the central salon of the National Capitol in Bogotá. The artist’s style reminds this critic of the art movements of the Parisian neighborhood of Montparnasse, although some of the academic nudes are “reminiscent of Rembrandt.” Duque Uribe mentions the artist’s social tendency and his innate painting skills, which are reflected in his preference for crowd scenes and figures with apparently incorrect anatomy.


This article by the art critic Rafael Duque Uribe, written on the occasion of the first solo exhibition of works by the painter Pedro Nel Gómez (1899–1984) in Bogotá, is one of the many reviews that were published in Colombia in support of the modernity that was sweeping the country. The works by Pedro Nel Gómez were on the whole not well-received by the public, as they were deemed “excessively” modern. His style was, paradoxically, compared to the art movement of Montparnasse, Paris, where the artist had in fact never been.


Pedro Nel Gómez was a civil engineer, architect, and urbanist, as well as a painter and sculptor. His murals were the most ambitious works attempted in the 1930s in Colombia, both because of their quality and for their size, measured in square meters. He studied in Medellín, then went to Europe in 1925 where he learned the fresco technique in Florence, Italy, before returning to Colombia in 1930. In 1934 in Bogotá he exhibited a series of oil paintings and watercolors that evoked both the open brushwork of Paul Cézanne and the loose style of the Expressionists; these works are reminiscent of the style of his contemporaries, the Venezuelan artists of the School of Ávila.

Alvaro Medina
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia