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.