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Jean Diffre (Toulouse 1864 - 1921)


Oil on canvas
55.5 x 34 cm
Signed, located and dated lower right: J Diffre Madrid 1902

Among Jean Diffre's works, the most outstanding are undoubtedly his Spanish subjects. One might
imagine that like a number of painters inthe second half of the 19th century, he succumbed to the trend for all things Spanish. His master Raphaël Collin, a fervent admirer of Manet, could have passed this interest on to him. But in the case of our artist, it is more useful to look to his Toulouse origins for this connection. A whole area of southwestern France had strong links with Spain at the beginning of the century. In the world of bullfighting for example, from the Landes to the Camargue, the epicenter was Madrid. The bullfighting square in Toulouse, which had its golden age during the
Belle Époque, was even nicknamed the French Seville. Legendary matadors such as Guerrita, Machaquito or Vicente Pastor paraded there.These shows, which brought thousands of visitors, made a lasting impression on our painter; and when he traveled to Spain, he sought above all to find this world. Whether it was the world of the arenas with bullfighters and picadors or the one that surrounded it with its bars and musicians as in our painting, Jean Diffre composed many colorful images of this fascinating scene.

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