Manuel Martinez Hugué dit Manolo

Woman with Arm Raised 1921

Terra-cotta proof, 6/15
Numbered (under the base): 6/15
Label (under the base): GALERIE SIMON /29 bis rue d'Astorg /PARIS (VIIIe) / 1921 /
6 / #6628 / Manolo / Femme au bras levé / 15 épr. / Photo #4060
Customs stamp (under the base): DOUANES EXPOSITIONS
H. 49, W. 12, D. 16 cm


  • Paris, Simon gallery
  • Sweden, private collection


  • Pla, Josep, Vida de Manolo contada per ell mateix, Sabadell, 1928.
  • Pia, Pascal, Manolo, "Sculpteurs nouveaux" ("New Sculptors"), Paris, Gallimard, 1930.
  • Benet, Rafael, El Escultor Manolo Hugué, coll. Miguel Angel, Libreria Editorial Argos, Barcelona, 1942.
  • Manuel, Martinez Hugué dit MANOLO - Sculptures, gouaches, drawings, Paris, Galerie Louise Leiris, May17 – June 17, 1961, repr n°52
  • Manolo, Plastik und Zichnungen, Dortmund, Museum am ostwall, April 5 – May 5, 1963, n°47.
  • Blanch, Montserrat, Manolo, sculptures, peintures, dessins, (Manolo, sculptures, paintings, drawings) Cercle d’art, 1974, p.57 repr. n° 76.
  • Manuel Martinez Hugué detto Manolo (1872-1945) sculture, disegni, dipinti, Lugano, Galleria Pieter Coray, 1990, repr. p.43 (terra-cotta proof 3/15).
  • Manolo Hugué, Barcelona, Museum of Modern Art, Feb. 16 – April, 15, 1990, repr. p.107, n°39 (proof n°3/15)
  • Manolo Hugué Als cinquanta anys de la seva mort, Columna, Barcelona, Sala d’art Artur Ramon, May 4 – June 17, 1995, repr p.49, n°9.
  • Manolo Hugue, 1872-1945, Despiau-Wlérick Museum, Mont-de-Marsan, June 28-September 4, 1995, Tavet-Delacour Museum, Pontoise, September 16-November 26, 1995, Bordeaux, 1995.
  • Fontbona, Francesc, Manolo Hugué, Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art, 2006, repr. fig. 61.
"His sculptures have a strongly balanced architecture because their volumes and the masses are thoroughly considered. And though they almost never retain the proportions of the reproduced form, the resulting ensemble is harmonious. And, above all, they emanate a sense of power."[1]
Born near Barcelona, Manolo remained always attached to Catalonia. He spent two extended stays in Céret, a small French Catalonian village. He was under contract to Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler at the time, and had been since 1910. This allowed him to concentrate on his artistic creation rather than on his financial difficulties and to make the most of his international reputation, which was rapidly increasing, based on exhibitions and articles in the press in France, Germany, and the United States.
Done during his second period in Céret (from 1919 to 1927), the Woman with Arm Raised revisits the composition of the Young Catalane,[2] a work that dated from his first stay in Céret (1910-1914).[3] This robust figure was shown at the Armory Show in New York in 1913. The position of the raised left arm and the tilt of the head are slightly different in the two contrapposto figures. There was an additional figure, created just a bit before the one presented here, titled Venus,[4] that also belongs to this series of women with raised arms. In that version, the pose is more expressive and sensual, and the contrapposto stance is more marked. The sequence of these three works reveals an evolution from the highly developed and geometric forms of the Young Catalan through to a modeling that incorporates gentler transitions in the Woman with Arm Raised. The influence of cubism on his work was waning and that of Aristide Maillol and the noucentisme of Barcelona was on the rise. In the 1921 Woman with Arm Raised, Manolo interpreted the Mediterranean feminine ideal as expressed in words by Eugenio d'Ors. He created a synthesis between an antique style—captured in the contrapposto pose, the smooth, serene face, and the eyes with no pupils—and the stocky solidity of Catalan women.
In Ben Plantada, published in 1911, Eugenio d'Ors[5] described an ideal feminine type that corresponds to that of the Catalan woman of the 20th century, with a body "solidly planted, with harmoniously opulent proportions, well-rounded but also conforming to the principles of ancient statuary."[6] According to these criteria, the perfect woman was distinguished by generous and well-balanced proportions arranged according to the ancient values of harmony and calm. Ors' writings seem to find a strong, physical echo in the work of Catalan sculptors of the era, and particularly in those of Maillol and Manolo. "Manolo knew Maillol well; he was a Frenchman from Catalonia, his neighbor in the Roussillon, and of the same generation, all of which explains the connections between their bodies of work," claimed Kahnweiler.[7] While Maillol sought, through his figures,[8] to display the purity of forms and the serenity of the beauty of antiquity, Manolo devoted himself to a personal version of his feminine ideal, which often matched the vision extolled by Eugenio d'Ors. Woman with Arm Raised is definitely one of Manolo's works that has the most affinity with Maillol' style.
The woman's pose, standing contrapposto with one hand on her hip and one arm raised and folded above her head, allowed Manolo to create the sort of rhythmic composition that he liked. With this stance, the lines broken at the elbows and the knee create dynamic angles that contrast the volumes and the voids. Manolo's work always has a strikingly rhythmic composition; it expresses movement and gives a sense of dynamic balance to his pieces. The National Museum of Modern Art has a seated version from the same period, Femme se coiffant (Woman Doing Her Hair),[9] which has a similarly rhythmic composition. Furthermore, throughout his entire œuvre, we find figures with one arm raised and the other lowered to the level of the hip, expressing an action in process; examples include Vendangeuse (The Grapepicker) (1913), Danseuse (Dancer) (1935), Torero saluant (Toreador Waving) (1936), and Danseuse à l'éventail (Dancer with a Fan) (1940).
This proof has a label from the Simon Gallery, which is the second gallery that Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler ran. After the First World War, on September 1, 1920, the dealer, whose goods had been sequestered, joined up with André Simon to open a new gallery at 29 bis rue d'Astorg. Over the course of three auctions in 1921, 1922, and 1923, his goods were all dispersed. Fortunately, he was able to re-buy all of his Manolo sculptures.[10] Later he editioned certain models, scrupulously limiting the number of proofs and indicating the number and title on a label glued discretely to the interior of the work. The edition of the Woman with Arm Raised was planned to include 15 proofs, but it is not known whether all of them were actually cast. Proof #3 was shown in an important monographic exhibition in Barcelona in 1990.
The editioning process allowed the dealer to spread the work and make his protégé better known. Woman with Arm Raised has been shown numerous times, in France and beyond.

[1] R. Jordi, "Escultura catalana, Manuel Hugué," Vell I Nou, Barcelona, #8, June 30, 1916, p. 85.
[2] Blanch, 1974, #9, p. 27, repr.: The Young Catalan, 1911, bronze, H. 46.5 cm, Kunsthalle, Mannheim.
[3] Forced to leave Céret during the First World War, he returned to Barcelona between 1914 and 1919. Upon returning to Céret in 1919, he went back to the work that he'd been focused on before the war, with his usual themes, but a modified technique.
[4] Blanch, 1974, #74, p. 56, repr.: Vénus, 1919-1921, plaster, H. 24 cm., F. Albajes Collection, Barcelona.
[5] Eugenio d'Ors (1881-1954) was a Catalan writer. Philosopher, art critic, essayist, and novelist, he was a specialist in the Baroque era and the most important art critic of the first half of the 20th century in Spain. After the Spanish Civil War, d'Ors became the director of the Beaux-Arts and of the contemporary art museum in Madrid. In 1943, he created the Salon des Onze (Salon of Eleven), through which he presented the avant-garde in opposition to the official aesthetic.
[6] Andrée Ricau-Hernandez, "Femme catalane, pétrie de terre et de mer, sculptée dans la pierre et le bronze: Eugenio d’Ors, Aristide Maillol," in Des femmes : images et écritures, Paris, Andrée Mansau, p. 41. ("Catalan woman, formed by the land and sea, sculpted in stone and bronze: Eugenio d'Ors, Aristide Maillol," in Women: Images and Writings.)
[7] Manolo, Galerie Chalette, 1957, an extract from Daniel Kahnweiler's preface. He goes on to say: "And yet I don't think that Maillol ever freed himself from Gauguin's influence and from a decorative inclination while Manolo's work developed in complete freedom."
[8] La Méditerranée, a plaster shown in 1905 at the Salon d'Automne in Paris, was one of the most successful examples.
[9] Manolo, Femme se coiffant, 1924, terra cotta, H. 28 cm, musée national d'art moderne (inv AM 1326 S)
[10] June 13-14, 1921: the first sale of goods sequestered by the Germans, "Henry Kahnweiler Collection, modern paintings, sculptures, and ceramics" Part 1: