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Ronald Kitaj may not be as popular as his close friend David Hockney, and yet he is the one who introduced the School of London to the world by that same name. The school of London gathered pop British painters such as Allen Jones, Boshier, Caufield, Peter Phillips, etc.

The “errand Jew”, as he often spoke of himself, born in Ohio, although later would take on the British citizenship, first heard of Spain to his mother who befriended the brigadiers that fought in the Republican side during the Civil War. He visited Sant Feliu de Guíxols (Costa Brava) in 1957, it was then that his relationship with the Spanish culture begun and it would last 20 years. 

Kitaj had already started to experience our language during his time enrolled in a Norwegian merchant ship, from his sixteen onward. There he had the chance to sail the Caribbean sea, in the Caribbean begun his first serious readings, and also his first sexual encounters in red-light districts; as his autobiographical paintings show: 1990 The First Time (Havana, 1949) y The Second Times (Veracruz, 1950) A Tale of the Maritime Boulevards.

The ties bounding him to Spain grew thicker with time, since 1962 he spends longer stays, especially in the little town of Sant Feliu, in Cataluña, where he would finally buy a house in 1972. Henceforth his visits would be even more frequent and longer.

It is appealing Kitaj's obsession towards some Spanish matters. Kitaj fixed his eye on Raimundo Lulio and the sefardí world, on San Juan de la Cruz, on Goya's “Caprichos”, on Buñuel's “Land without bread” and the “Belle Jour”, on Picasso, Francis Picabia, Julio Romero de Torres.

The litography “Barceloneta” (1979) shown here, was inspired by a prostitute from Barcelona and a famous Julio Romero de Torres' painting (a painter from Córdoba that he adores).

"La Chiquita Piconera" Julio Romero de Torres.

The “Chiquita Piconera” is the most popular painting of Julio Romero de Torres, you can see it in his museum in the Plaza del Potro, A few meters from our Hotel Viento10.


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