Many Painters Now Refugees
Notable works by a distinguished group of Catalan artists are on view at the Leicester Galleries until the 21st of this month. These paintings have been brought out of Spain since the revolution and some of the artists are now refugees. Pere Pruna (whose The Two Sisters is reproduced on this page) had to escape largely because he had been doing work for the churches.
Of three fine works by Rafael Llimona Raining near Olot is, perhaps, the most memorable in the whole collection. Without sacrificing objective realism Llimona manages to achieve effects worthy of a Monet, yet stamped with his own intensely Spanish individuality. The older artists adhere to objective rather than atmospheric description but nearly all the paintings show that balanced sensitiveness and real earnestness essential to progress in any art. Most of the artists were born in the present century. Spain is still producing painters worthy of her great traditions. The influence of Picasso is less evident than might be expected.
Joan Serra's Pedralbes, Joaquim Mir's Hermitage in the Pyrenees and several other landscapes evoke a feeling for the calm and indolent countryside of Spain which a consciousness of present events rouses to a painful intensity.
A fine collection of water colours of Spanish scenes is also on view at the same Galleries. The artist, H. M. Bateman, here appears in a capacity different from that in which he is known to the majority of people. There is nothing humorous but much that is tender and beautiful about these glimpses of a peaceful Spain that we all hope may soon return.
and very well administered. I think it was on a Sunday .. . I walked along that street
. I noticed numbers of small boys passing in and out of a wide entrance ... Two boys gladly encouraged me to go through and showed me everything and introduced me to everybody, including the Superior, who willingly answered a few questions.
" The regime was evidently very popular, but also fairly strict.
" The whole interior and exterior of this building was a peculiar jumble of courts and passages and rooms, but all in perfect order. A very important game of Pelota was going on, causing great excitement. Boys everywhere, sitting on walls, ledges, and in various corners. Others were more sedate and differently occupied.
"Commercial classes were held during the week in separate rooms. In fact, it was an institution which might well have merited the benediction of our Education Office or L.C.C. There was an atmosphere of happy liberty . . . I forget the Order responsible for this wonderful club."
Why the Reds Persecuted its Director
The precise facts about this " Club " are as follows:
1. It was under the direction of a secular priest—D. Francisco Cod ma.
2. Its main purpose was the giving of " Commercial Classes " to the poor. Four hundred young men were catered for—and were also given a religious formation.
3. Poor boys were prepared for their first Communion here and were taught Catechism by the members of the gentlemen's Sodality in the centre of the city. (These were the boys met by my correspondent).
4. A Sodality of Our Lady was also formed from these boys and was the spiritual " inner circle " of the institution.
5. The full name was Centro de San Pedro Apostol bajo el Patrocinio de Nuestra Senora de Montserrat.
6. It was officially affiliated to the Sodality of Our Lady and some forty Sodalists taught the poor there. The Director is now in exile. The Reds wanted his life. Why? Because he was a priest and because he had laboured for Christ's poor!