The Saumellian type of ecstatic figures is based on an experience.
In the 1920s, like everyone in Tarragona, Saumells visited the excavation of a huge burial pit of the Roman Christian necropolis at the Tabacalera. Although still an adolescent, he was already becoming an artist. Witnessing the excavation of the burials, he was influenced by their mournful attraction. The exhumed bodies, converted into moral remains, stayed in his mind. Witnessing death, religious funeral symbols, and feeling the mystery of the after life, surprised him. It disturbed him.
With age, he assimilated such effects. At the moment of creation, he produced the series of ecstatic figures, also called astrònoms: the ascetism and contemplation exhibited by the skeleton. Premonitory figures, notice of the final destiny that nature has in store for us: certain death, which questions eternity.