Isidre Nonell i Monturiol was born in Barcelona in the year 1872.
Isidre Nonell was fundamentally a self-taught painter. Nevertheless he was
also the pupil of Josep Mirabent, Martinez Altès academy and Lluís Graner. He also was a pupil of
Llotja school in
Nonell work is characterized in it's youth by the happiness and very rich and hot
colors together with
an intense but sober aesthetic inspired in Art Nouveau
and impressionism. This is the character of his paintings when he was a part of the Colla del Safrà
other painters as Canals, Vallmitjana, Gosé, Torner, Torres García, Adrià Gual,
Joaquim Mir and others- between 1893
(Colla del Safrà is a Catalan expression meaning group of saffron, referring
to the color of that product used by his members in its paintings).
Before his first travel to Paris in 1886 Nonell developed his series of
"Els cretins de Boí" (The cretinous of Boí), Nonell was
interested by marginal, alone and silk people, gypsy women and other poor
people in similar attitudes. Nonell pay attention to the sad face of the
reality, the reverse of the social ideals of burgess society, forcing
with that attitude the general misunderstanding and potential customers
In 1887 he left to Paris where he took part in some exhibitions together
with other painters. In his second stage in Paris between 1899 and 1900 he
was strongly influenced by the impressionism.
In 1907 Nonell, following Utrillo suggestions, made an anthological exhibition in
Barcelona in an other style, representing women with beautiful dresses,
showing a more sensual look of feminine universe. The big success of that
exhibition nevertheless, was ephemeral and Nonell came again to his
Nonell was an excellent designer. Out of his normal themes (see
the three designs of that page), he also was a collaborator of satiric magazine "Papitu" from 1908.
In 1910, Nonell developed his twelve pictures on "nature morte" themes.
Nonell died as a consequence of a typhus at the young age of 38 in 1911.