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Waiting at the Shore: Art, Revolution, War & Exile in the Life of the Spanish Artist Luis Quintanilla

Waiting at the Shore: Art, Revolution, War & Exile in the Life of the Spanish Artist Luis Quintanilla

by Paul Quintanilla


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Waiting at the Shore chronicles the extraordinary life of the Spanish artist Luis Quintanilla, championed by Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Elliot Paul, and many other American and European writers and artists. In 1912, at the age of 18, he ran off to Montmartre where, under the influence of his fellow countryman Juan Gris, he began his artistic career as a Cubist. Returning to Madrid before the war he befriended prominent Spaniards, including Juan Negrin, the Premier during the Spanish Civil War. In April 1931 he and Negrin participated in the peaceful revolution which ousted the monarchy and installed the Second Spanish Republic. When civil war broke out Quintanilla helped lead troops on Madrid's Montana Barracks, which saved the capital for the Republic. "Because great painters," as Hemingway put it, "are scarcer than good soldiers," the Spanish government [Negrin] ordered Quintanilla out of the army after the fascists were stopped outside Madrid. The artist completed 140 drawings of the various fronts of the war which were exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art, with a catalogue by Hemingway. After the Republic lost the war Quintanilla was forced into an exile which lasted several decades. Living in New York and in Paris he strove to perfect his art, shunning the modernist vogues of the time. Although a celebrity when he first arrived in the United States he eventually fell into obscurity. This volume, which is heavily illustrated, brings him out of the shadows of neglect, and provides the compelling story of an artist who led not just an extraordinary life but left a legacy of paintings and drawings which, in both their skill and great imaginative variety, should be known to all art lovers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781845195977
Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
Publication date: 01/01/2014
Series: Canada Blanch/Sussex Academic Studies on Contemporary Spain
Pages: 561
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Paul Quintanilla is the son of Luis Quintanilla. He designed and maintains a web site dedicated to his father’s work. He is a former librarian at the San Francisco Public Library who is now retired and living in New England.

Table of Contents

The Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies xiii

Series Editor's Preface by Paul Preston xv

Author's Preface by Paul Quintanilla xix

List of Illustrations xxiv

Introduction 1

Part 1 A Bohemian Youth

1 Cubistic Sketches 9

A Little About the Family 9

Schooling 12

The First Studio 14

2 A Parisian Idyll 20


Stepping Out Onto the Stage 32

The Buffet Italiano 36

4 Montparnasse 41

The Germ of the Soul 41

The Carrefoure Vavin 43

Ernesto Hemingway 47

The Fiery Dance of the Isms 51

5 The Cradle of Rrbirths 56

Ángel Sánchez Rivero and the Duke of Alba 56

Florence, Italy 56

Mussolini 66

Part 2 Facing a Bitter World in the Sun at Noon

6 In the Middle of Nowhere 73

Unamuno 73

Jacque 77

7 The Birth of A Republic 83

8 An Interlude: Two Friends and an Enemy 99

Two Friends 99

An Enemy 107

9 The Republic 109

A Time of Dreams 109

The Revolution of 1934 114

The Show at the Pierre Matisse Gallery 116

Eight Months, Four Days, and Three Hours 123

10 "The Inevitable" 133

Part 3"A torturous Nightmare"-The War in Spain

11 An Army of the People 145

July 19th: the Saving of Madrid 145

The Montaña Barracks 151

12 Combat on the Front Lines 158

13 The Alcázar of Toledo 167

Legends and Dreams 167

The Seige of the Alcazar 171

14 An Organization is Formed 183

The Madrid Front 183

The Simple-Minded Son of a Millionaire Widow 189

At Table with Spies 197

15 "Why Kill Us?": Drawings of the War 204

Excursions Along the Lines 204

Returning Home 209

Sitges and the Barcelona Ritz 215

16 The Visit to New York 221

The Show at the Museum of Modern Art 221

All the Brave 227

17 The Final Card 238

Barcelona 238

"Let the Bull Come Out" 247

18 Love Peace Hate War 253

Part 4 the White Bear

19 Pretty Light of Baggage 265

The Glad Sanity of Art 265

The White Bear 274

20 To the Road Once Again 281

Hollywood 281

On to Kansas City 287

Don Quixote in the Heartland 292

21 P & Q 305

A Spanish Rice 305

Another Dual Masterpiece 311

With a Hays Nonny Nonny 318

Part 5 Greenwich Village

22 An Artist's Studio 325

Eighth Street 325

The Portraits of Writers 331

A Believer in Illusions 343

23 The Struggle For Life Within Life 349

Some of the Spaniards 349

Franco's Black Spain 354

The Dance of the Isms Speeding Up 355

24 "Here Nothing Has Happened" 362

The Illustrated Gulliver 362

Grace Church 371

25 Alone in the Studio 375

26 A Son's Portfold 394

Viva el Sufrimiento 394

Posing 396

Gypsy Rose Lee's Dog 399

The Teef 401

At the Met 403

Christmas in the Studio 405

27 The Hunt For Paintable Subjects 408

28 The Malevolent Fairy 420

29 An Enclave of Spanish Culture 432

The Arrival of the Fifites 432

The Incredible Edifice 436

The Clean Easy Window 440

30 Hope Continued Aloft and Held Suspenden 447

The Drinking 447

Joseph Mitchell 449

Part 6 Europe

31 Toward Finding the Solution 457

32 The Sacred Fire 470

Don Pablo Casals 470

The Trip to Puerto Rico 474

Wildenstein's 487

33 Paris 491

Reunions 491

El Palomar 494

The Show at the Salle Gaveau 499

34 Separation 506

35 Waitong at the Shore 520

Patience 520

Home 532

Elegy: Something of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow 541

Index 550

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