The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
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).