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Birth of a Sculptor 1907-1909


The Tarragona provincial council granted him a scolarship to study in Madrid, where he started work in the workshop of the sculptor Miquel Blay (b. Olot 1866 – d. Madrid 1936). Blay was, together with Agustí Querol from Tortosa and Mariano Benlliure from Valencia, one of the country’s best-known sculptors.

His letters written at this time lay down the theoretical basis of his future:

“I shall beg the protection of the great works of the Classical masters, I will ask them to show me where the mystery of form and beauty lies; there can be no doubt that through studying and rejecting them extensively they will tell me, and that is when I will create my work, that is when my intelligence will triumph…”

His circle in Madrid included Miquel Viladrich, Victorio Macho, Enrique Lorenzo Salazar and Lluís Bagaria.


He set up his workshop in the Calle Villanueva together with Miquel Viladrich.

He cultivated a friendship with Ramón Gómez de la Serna, whose writings are essential to an understanding of the life and work of Julio Antonio.


The Tarragona provincial council awarded him a travel grant of 1,000 pesetas and the sculptor spent three months travelling in Italy. In the company of his mother, he visited Rome, Florence and Naples. This trip enabled him to see at first hand the work of the two great sculptors who, along with Rodin, most influenced his art: Donatello and Michelangelo.

Upon his return from Italy he set up in Almadén with Lorenzo Salazar and worked on the Busts of the Race series.


» Go to Busts of the Race series