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    Rafael Monasterios : Un pintor de brocha fina / Roldán Esteva-Grillet
    Rafael Monasterios, 1884-1984 : regiones para la imagen. -- Caracas, Venezuela : Galería de Arte Nacional : Consejo Nacional de la Cultura, 1985
    p. 3-4
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Esteva Grillet, Roldán. "Rafael Monasterios : Un pintor de brocha fina." In Rafael Monasterios, 1884-1984: regiones para la imagen, 3-4. Caracas, Venezuela: Galería de Arte Nacional : Consejo Nacional de la Cultura, 1985

In this text, historian and critic Roldán Esteva-Grillet reviews the context in which Rafael Monasterios lived and worked, describing his training, early influences, and connection to the generation of painters clustered around the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Caracas. Esteva-Grillet discusses the economic difficulties faced by many artists of the time and how they affected Monasterios in particular. He considers the overriding themes the artist addressed as well as his work in illustration which, unlike his landscapes, was considered “marginal.”


This text by historian Roldán Esteva-Grillet (b. 1946) draws a portrait of Rafael Monasterios (1884–1961). He uses the remarks of critics and writers from Venezuela such as Leoncio Martínez, Fernando Paz Castillo, Augusto Germán Orihuela, Alfredo Boulton, and Rómulo Gallegos to place Monasterios in a historical and cultural context. He states that “Monasterios was in keeping with his time” and explains the nuisances of the costumbrismo rediscovered by the artist’s contemporaries, whether writers or painters. Other sources Esteva-Grillet uses are periodicals for which Monasterios made illustrations and advertising drawings. The text also addresses little known facets of Monasterios’s art, such as the work in advertising and the decorative murals that allowed the artist to support himself and his figurative and/or costumbrista work that, unlike his landscape, was largely ignored by critics. The text mentions Don Pedro Monasterios Herice—the cleric and renowned calligraphist from the western region of Venezuela who was the artist’s father—and the contribution that his “Album” on Simón Bolívar the Liberator (produced in 1883) made to Venezuelan art.


For another text by Esteva-Grillet on Rafael Monasterios, see “Desde el terruño, un nuevo paisaje” (ICAA digital archive doc. no. 1162439).

Milagros González
Fundación Mercantil, Caracas, Venezuela
Reproduced with permission of Roldán Esteva-Grillet, Caracas, Venezuela
Biblioteca Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas, Plaza de Los Museos, Parque los Caobos, Caracas 1010, República Bolivariana de Venezuela