|Lluïsa Vidal i Puig Self Portrait 1899|
She began exhibiting her work professionally in 1898 at age 22, and in 1901 she left to study further in Paris. While in that city she became a supporter of the Feminist movement, which she learned about in part through through the ground-breaking French Feminist newspaper called La Fronde. (It's actually kind of amazing, click on the link to learn more!) She left Paris to study for a short time in England.
Lluïsa returned to Barcelona in 1902 at the request of her family,cutting short her study abroad because three of her sisters had fallen ill and her help was needed. To assist the family financially she began giving private art lessons and also worked as an illustrator for Feminal Magazine, a Spanish Feminist publication. She painted and exhibited tirelessly despite the many calls on her time. "Critics, all of whom were male, were awed as well as stumped, using words such as 'Virile" to describe her talent. In surprised admiration, they would write: "She paints so well... she paints like a man!" ("Painted Like a Man, Disappeared like a Woman: Luisa Vidal, The Daughter of Modernism" by Marcy Rudo, OTI, 1998.) She had a major exhibit at la Sala Parés, an important art gallery in Barcelona in 1914, receiving rave reviews and accolades. Unfortunately she died only a few years later, during a Spanish Flu epidemic epidemic in 1918. Despite her burgeoning fame and the critical acclaim she received during her lifetime, after her death her name sank into obscurity. Now rediscovered, she is considered part of Modernisme, the Catalan modernist art movement.
|Lluïsa Vidal i Puig Self Portrait Date unknown|
P.S. Many thanks to my old friend, writer Elizabeth Castro for her kind assistance in finding out more about this wonderful Catalan artist!