Dionisio Baixeras y Verdaguer (Spanish, Barcelona 1862–1943 Barcelona)
Oil on canvas
59 x 83 in. (149.9 x 210.8 cm)
Gift of George I. Seney, 1886
Not on view
Baixeras trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in his native Barcelona and made his international debut with this painting, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1886. It was purchased there by the New York banker, railroad magnate, and art collector George I. Seney, an early supporter of the Metropolitan Museum. The artist balanced a restricted palette with a bold design that fosters a sense of intimacy with these working men pausing from their labors. Their rapt attention to one another’s conversation and measured gestures endow them with a dignity that transcends their grizzled appearance.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): D.BAIXERAS. / 1886.
George I. Seney, New York (1886; bought from the artist at the Salon)
Paris. Salon. May 1–?, 1886, no. 96 (as "Bateliers; — port de Barcelone").
"The Fine Arts: Further Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum." Critic (May 7, 1887), p. 232, as "Boatmen at Barcelona".
"In the Field." Art Education (November 1900), p. 129, ill.
Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada Europeo-Americana. Vol. 7, Barcelona, , pp. 248–49, ill., calls it "Barqueros de Barcelona".
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 305, calls it "Boatmen at Barcelona".
Carlos González and Montse Martí. Pintores Españoles en París (1850–1900). Barcelona, 1989, unpaginated, state that the theme of fishermen was characteristic of Baixeras, and that this painting was highly praised at the Salon of 1886.
19th Century European Art. Christie's, New York. April 19, 2005, p. 40, under no. 29, catalogues a smaller, unsigned version of this picture.
Another version of this picture was sold at Christie's, New York, April 19, 2005.