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The Princess
of Las Quigaloas

Sassu’s familiarity with the culture and history of the island of Majorca and his decision to open a studio there at Cala San Vicente in 1963, in which to spend long periods, brought about a turning point in his painting.

This is manifest in the introduction of the motif of the bullfight, which like the urban landscapes of Milan of the 1930s or the Paris cafés, offered the artist the opportunity to observe contemporary reality, a reality that here is composed of a multicolored, passionately involved crowd, whose colors are made dazzling by the Mediterranean light and above all by the almost epic and mythological challenge between man and nature represented by the bull.

Sassu’s careful analysis of the theme is evident, for example, in twelve small ink drawings on the sheet of Studies for tauromachia, and in paintings like Pase de pecho of 1964, La cogida del Cordobés of 1965, Fine Bull of 1971-72, and the more recent El picador derrumbado of 1983 and Farolada of 1984.

The absolute freedom Sassu allowed himself in painting the bullfight series, which in the last examples cited led him toward a sort of dissolution of the form, should not make us forget that in him color remains the fundamental element for constructing the image.