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California, American and International Fine Art

Egas, Camilo (1899 – 1962)

Love Song, dated 1928





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A few blocks east of Plaza Grande in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, stands a colonial-era structure with massive adobe walls and a beautiful central courtyard that was once the childhood home of Ecuadorean master painter, Camilo Egas. Today the structure serves as the Egas museum showcasing the work of one of the founders of the Indigenismo movement.
Born to a well to do family, and after years of formal training, Egas became well known on the international circuit, befriending the likes of Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and de Chirico. Along with his contemporary, Oswaldo Guayasamín, he helped form the Indigenismo movement, bringing to the world’s attention the importance of the native peoples of South America. This period paralleled the rise of Socialism and Marxist parties in Latin America. The movement’s art combined the Costumbrista method of painting with contemporary trends and styles like expressionism, surrealism, and cubism. The  collection on display is a broad sample of Egas’ paintings, which focus heavily on the Andean people. He created massive murals for the Century of Progress Expo in Chicago in 1933 and the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939.

Cancion de Amor was painted the year after Egas moved to New York and met Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, the renowned Mexican artists. It was Orozco who introduced Camilo to the latest trends in modernism as well as the social importance and influence of the paintings of the period. Love Song reflects a new direction in style for Egas that would progress throughout his lifetime.

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