Julio González

Maltese Face

1940

Artist
Julio González 1876–1942
Original title
Visage maltais
Medium
Ink, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 318 x 241 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Mme Roberta Gonzalez-Richard, the artist's niece 1972
Reference
T01624

Not on display

Display caption

González used drawing as a primary way of exploring his ideas. These drawings, made over a six-year period, show how his abstract idiom was rooted in reality and, especially, in the figure. González concentrated on upright structures that, if translated into sculpture, would make use of the strength and balance available from welded iron. This group gives a sense of his inventiveness as he worked towards images with a high emotional charge.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Julio González 1876-1942

T01624 Visage maltais (Maltese Face) 1940

Inscribed '28-4-40 | J.G.' b.r.
Pencil, pen and ink and wash on paper, 12 1/2 x 9 1/2 (31.8 x 24.2)
Presented by Roberta González 1972
Lit: Josette Gibert, Julio González Dessins: Projets pour Sculptures: Figures (Paris 1975), p.128 repr.

González made a series of about 27 drawings of mask-like faces between 25 April and 25 May 1940, the earliest, like this, having a strong resemblance to African masks. There is another pen and wash drawing almost identical to this one which is dated the same day (reproduced by Gibert, op. cit., p.127 as 'African Mask'). The title 'Maltese Face' (Visage maltais) inscribed on the verso by Roberta González is puzzling, as the head has a distinctly African character.

[All the drawings by Julio González given to the Tate are authenticated on the back by his daughter Roberta González and inscribed with a title and date, or approximate date. The titles are used in the catalogue entries, but the dating has been made more precise wherever possible. (Julio González's drawings are usually dated from about 1934 onwards, but the great majority of the early drawings are undated).]

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.321, reproduced p.321