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Wim Schuhmacher

The House of Cervantes in Toledo, 1934

In this work by Wim Schuhmacher (1894-1986) we see the patio of the Posada de la Sangre in Toledo, which was long mistaken for the house of Miguel Cervantes, author of the famous novel Don Quixote (1605-1615). That house was a bit farther down the road. From the title of the painting can be deduced ... that the misunderstanding still prevailed when Schuhmacher chose the Posada de la Sangre as the subject of his painting in 1934. The building was destroyed two years later during the Spanish Civil War. Schuhmacher was interested in photography and derived certain stylistic devices from it, such as here possibly the effect of a wide-angle lens. He also used pictures as a mnemonic device for depicting complex architecture. ‘I only like it when it’s very difficult,’ Schuhmacher once said. He also liked to point out that he was self-taught and had only trained at a trade school as a house painter: to him, this was a badge of honour. He considered his artistry as a calling and a personal victory. Schuhmacher grew up in Amsterdam; his father earned a meagre wage as a house painter and glass decorator. In 1940, art critic Kasper Niehaus (1889-1974) wrote the following about Schuhmacher: ‘One does not need to be clairvoyant to predict that his work will be part of the enduring body of Modern art.’
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Wim Schuhmacher
The House of Cervantes in Toledo
Oil on canvas
64 x 80 cm (h x w)
Type of object
© Wilma Schuhmacher

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