Artistic Homage

 

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Following are some artists whom F. Luis Mora admired. He studied their works intensely, sensing that their paintings could teach him something that no living painter could. 

by F. Luis Mora, in writings distributed by his wife after the artist died in 1940:

Four masters to inspire and challenge.  Four splendid men to hold conference with while you try to paint.  El Greco, Goya, Manet and Degas.

El Greco, for that indescribable mystery and magic. That delicious muddling of blacks, greens and greys. That spiritual something that lifts things out by the mere fact of being well done.

Goya, the daring, and at the same time reserved, master.  Force and delicacy combined. Those precious pearly tones that are never sweet.  Those excursions into character that burn themselves through the personalities they describe.

Manet, for those flat extensive spaces that hold dimensional forces. Those well-chosen blacks that carry with them a singing quality. That ever-present strangeness that gives you the feeling you have never seen it before, no matter how familiar you may be with it.

Degas, a refined and powerful draftsman all at once.  With a precious feeling of elegance in his bones.  A glorious freshness whenever he punctuates with tints from the petals of roses.

These are four men whose conversation and advice are rich with gifts that only few possess.

From F. Luis Mora's notebooks:

In 1918: Fortuny, you painted the jewels. Your small works are fine gems (that) I aspire to paint in my subjects.  How sad that you met an untimely death.  Such grand, all-encompassing talent should live long and in good health.

In 1919, about Rembrandt's portraits, Master of light and shadow, judge of characters, every head is perfect in form and personality.  With thousands upon thousands of portraits in this world, most deserve to last just within one generation.  Then there are his, forever. Let them tell me the secrets of (Rembrandt's) lines, shadows and light that led him to see inside (of) every man's skin.