The poet and literary critic Juvenal Ortiz Saralegui (1901–82) was an active anti-fascist and supporter of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-39). In 1933 he joined forces with the poet Vicente Basso Maglio (1899–1961) to found the AER (Asociación de Escritores Revolucionarios), which was affiliated with the CTIU (Confederación de Trabajadores Intelectuales del Uruguay). Three years later he joined the Comisión de Actos de AIAPE (Agrupación de Intelectuales, Artistas, Periodistas y Escritores), and contributed to the group’s magazine. The Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes was created in 1936; this organization consisted of professionals, politicians, and intellectuals who were, by and large, of the same generation and came from the country’s old families that represented the local aristocracy, landholders, and banks. The State’s patronage of art was based on its preference for “moderate art” executed in conventional, naturalist styles that enjoyed government support at the early Salones Nacionales. A number of artists submitted works to the 2º Salón Nacional in 1938 despite the bad feeling created by the appointment of jurors without any input from artists in the selection process. At the time, tensions ran high between supporters and proponents of the “social realism” style (which was associated with left-wing political ideology) and those who preferred paintings of a more or less conventional nature that had nothing to do with the social problems of the day. The painter María Rosa de Ferrari (1908–82), who had studied under Domingo Bazurro (1886–1962) at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, submitted an oil painting to the 2º Salón Nacional whose title, Los desastres de la guerra, alluded to the Spanish Civil War and to the looming world war. The painting was rejected by the Salón, a controversial decision that Ortiz Saralegui discusses in this article, claiming that art should express the social concerns prompted by the very serious situation in which the world found itself.