Ramón Casas ( Spanish, 1866 - 1932 )

About 1895–1900
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General Description

Between 1895 and 1900, Ramón Casas completed a suite of paintings depicting the same female model in an intimate interior scene. She often wears a white dress with blue trim similar to the one found in Tired. In these works, Casas was not representing a dramatic narrative, but rather providing a glimpse into routine moments of a woman’s daily activities. Throughout the series of paintings he relied on a muted color palette and a composition comprised of a figure with a few simple elements such as a chair, table, or window.

In Tired, subtle gradations of color and soft suffused light create a scene that is profoundly poetic and mysterious. The solitary figure is not a portrait, but a vehicle that allowed Casas to examine light and color by coupling a subtle palette with slight details. He juxtaposed the woman’s gossamer white dressing gown against the heavy dark wood paneling and floor. Casas anchored the composition with the strong vertical lines of the spindled backed chair, table legs, and doorjamb that he then discreetly echoed with thick impasto brushstrokes. He reinforced the woman's centrality by rendering the door behind her with a color that is much lighter than the surrounding walls. In her pose, Casas adeptly conveyed the woman’s fatigue and added a bit of mystery by turning her face away from the viewer. The overall effect of color, composition, and pose heightens the emotion of her exhaustive collapse to a most powerful effect.

Adapted from

Olivier Meslay, DMA unpublished material, 2013.

Fun Facts

  • Tired was in a private collection in Europe for over a century, and prior to entering the DMA's collection, it was last exhibited in 1904 at the XXI exhibition of the Viennese Secession.