Joaquin Terruella was an important Spanish artist, primarily known for his distinctive and striking reprensentations of Spanish sporting subjects, particularly bull fights. Born in 1891, he was the nephew of Matilla the Second, and studied under Santiago Rusiñol (1861 - 1931), one of the leaders of the Catalan modernism movement. Terruela traveled to Italy in 1923, and painted in Paris and Palma de Mallorca. Garnering a respectable level of recognition, he began exhibting individually at the Goya Room in Barcelona 1916, as well as the city hall of Pares in 1924, and galleries in Paris (1922), Madrid, Palma, Zaragoza, Bordeaux and Biarritz. In 1928 he would go on to show his work at the Sala Gaspar of Barcelona until 1952.
Joaquín Terruella also painted landscapes with a distinctive impressionist style which reflected the subtle delicacy and transparency of the Catalan landscape. His favorite subject though was the world of bullfighting, and he actually worked as an illustrator for taurian publications “El Día Gráfico” and “La Noche”. He also tried gypsy scenes and concert cafes. His work is preserved at the MACBA, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Madrid, and the Museo Provincial de Lugo.
In the pair above, Terruella produces one of his characteristic subjects: a pass of bullfighting. He summarizes both the expressiveness and the suspense of the moment in two paintings of frozen motion. His composition evokes a great sobriety whilst also filling the viewer with a sense of awe and dynamism. Indeed, the passion and excitement of the bull fight exhudes from the warm color palet, which also suggests the heat and the danger of the engagement.