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Clavariesa, Constantino Gómez

Clavariesa, Constantino Gómez

Inv. No. CE4/00056

This oil painting on canvas is a figure-length portrait of a clavariesa (female member of a committee in charge of organising the celebrations in the name of a patron saint) wearing the traditional Valencian dress.

The woman is wearing the Valencian dress and a traditional Spanish black lace veil which is attached to the ornamental comb in her hair and hangs down over her shoulders. She is also holding a traditional fan of that region. There is a contrast between the realism of her face and the heavily decorated Valencian dress. The figure of the woman almost fills the canvas and we can just see behind her other veiled ladies, the church and the preparations for the “mascletà” (daytime firecrackers). This possibly took place in a nearby town of Valencia de Burjassot.

Constantino Gómez Salvador (1864-1934) was born in Valencia and was educated in the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Carlos, where he coincided with Sorolla, Cecilio Pla and Salvador Abril. He practiced all genres but mainly history and landscapes. He was awarded third place medals at the National Exhibition in 1887, 1892 and 1912, as well as a prize at the Regional Exhibition of Valencia in 1909. The National Ceramics Museum has, amongst other works, a canvas that shows a “mascletà” display in Valencia de Burjassot in which you can distinguish clearly the “morterets” (small pieces of cylindrical artillery filled with gun powder) that the pyrotechnists are handling.

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