Manuel Martinez Hugué dit Manolo

Head of a Bearded Man 1928

Lead pencil
Label (on the back): GALERIE SIMON / 29 bis, Rue d’Astorg / Paris (VIIIe) / 1928 / N° 10690 / Manolo / Tête d’homme barbu / 19 x 13 / Photo N° 4822
H. 19.2, W. 13.2


  • Paris, galerie Simon
  • France, private collection


  • 1974 BLANCH Blanch, Montserrat, Manolo, sculptures, peintures, dessins, Cercle d’art, 1974.
  • 1995 EXPOSITION Manolo Hugué, 1872-1945, musée Despiau-Wlérick, Mont de Marsan, 28 juin-4 septembre 1995, musée Tavet-Delacour Pontoise, 16 septembre-26 novembre 1995, Villes de Mont de Marsan et Pontoise, 1995.
Between 1912 and 1933, Manolo was under contract with the dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Their agreement stipulated that Manolo’s entire production would go to the dealer in exchange for a monthly stipend. Manolo was the only sculptor that Kahnweiler represented until 1920, when Henri Laurens joined this very select circle.
After living in Céret for many years, Manolo moved back to his native Catalonia in 1927 for health reasons, settling in Caldas de Montbuy. The following year, an exhibition of his works was organized at the Sala Parés in Barcelona. Despite his fragile health, this was a richly creative period for him, a time when his art radiated its full maturity and assurance.
Head of a Bearded Man attests to this artistic flowering with its confident gestures, its lines working with the shading to create the head of a very lively bearded old man. The right side of the face is barely sketched in, but it nonetheless says it all, thanks to the other side, which is fully executed. The composition is anchored by a single line delineating the left shoulder, toward which the head is turned. This movement of the head suggests a body caught in motion. There’s an additional and striking detail that transports us to a mythological world: two horns are just emerging from the man’s forehead. Might this be the figure of Pan, the Greek god of shepherds? It might also be a study for a mythological composition that Manolo did as a bas-relief in 1929 titled L’Enlèvement de Déjanire (The Abduction of Dejanira), in which the centaur Nessus turns his bearded head toward his left shoulder (n°118 in 1974 Blanch).
The drawing carries a label from the galerie Simon, which was the second gallery run by D.-H. Kahnweiler. After the First World War, on September 1, 1920, the dealer, whose goods had all be sequestered, went into partnership with André Simon to open a new gallery at 29 bis rue d’Astorg. The dealer did a remarkable job of making Manolo’s work known, lending works to exhibitions in France and elsewhere.