Dressed to Kill: The Paintings of Ignacio Zuloago

Spanish Basque painter Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta (1870-1945) created dramatic images using the culture, landscape and folklore of Iberia. Although he studied painting in Rome and Paris it was the great Spanish masters, Francisco de Zurbarán, Diego Velázquez, El Greco, and Francisco Goya, that ultimately influenced his work. A reoccurring theme in his paintings is the figure of the Terero or bullfighter in the traditional traje de luces (suit of lights). Zuloaga also depicted his female subjects wearing the Spanish mantilla and peineta (comb) as seen in his portrait of the aristocrat and socialite, María del Rosario de Silva, Duchess of Alba. The painting is reminiscent of another Duchess of Alba, María Cayetana de Silva, Thirteenth Duchess of Alba. Goya painted her in white, known as The White Duchess and in black, which is called The Black Duchess.