Spanish Art Deco Artist Federico Beltrán Masses (1885-1949)
Federico Beltrán Masses was a splendid colorist and a prominent representative of Art Deco movement, one of the first in Spain.
The critics of the time depicted his art “a celebration of paganism and refined intellectualism”.
The modern artist painted sexy women in chic dresses, in luscious interiors, decorated with silk and jewels, reviving the magnificent Venetian or Byzantine splendors.
The artist portrayed celebrities and royalties from all over the world such as Alfonso XIII of Spain, rulers of Kapurthala, India, King George VI of England or the Shah of Persia, dukes and princesses from around the world, millionaires as Rothschild and idols of the screen as Pola Negri and Rudolph Valentino with whom they first met in 1924 in New York where the painter had an exhibition at the Wildenstein Gallery.
The artist made several canvases of Valentino and his wife Natasha in Spanish costume and as an almost naked gypsy in the painting La Gitana, which hung above Valentino's bed. Valentino hosted an exhibition and a reception for the artist at the Ambassador Hotel, attended by the elite of Hollywood including Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson.
Born in Cuba, Beltrán Masses studied with the painter Sorolla at l’École des Beaux-Arts de Barcelone and later in Madrid and Paris where he lived many years. The artist won numerous awards in US, Italy, Belgium, India. He died in Barcelona.