Blanquita Suárez was a comic artist who was born in the Teatre Principal of San Sebastián at the beginning of the 20th century and died around 1970. She came from a family traditionally that had been in the show business for several generations: her grandfather was a prompter at the Teatre Apolo, her father was a baritone, her mother sang in a zarzuela choir and her sister, Cándida Suárez, was a well-known soprano who triumphed during the 30s and 40s.
Photograph of Blanquita Suárez. Source: Fundación El Molino | Blanquita Suárez. Pablo Picasso. Barcelona, 1917. Oil on canvas. Donation of the artist in 1970
Blanquita started on the stage at 12 years old in the Puerto de la Luz de Canarias and throughout her career acted in operettas, reviews, and the so-called género chico, as a vedette (or chorus-girl) and cabaret singer. Like many actresses of the period, Blanquita recorded various records and participated as a secondary actress in several films.
In 1917 she presented herself as a variety star in the Eldorado theatre of Barcelona, but it wasn’t until she acted in Paral·lel that she would become a recognised actress in the city of Barcelona.
Theatre Eldorado reformed by the architect Bruguera in 1910
Picasso frequented the Barcelona entertainment venues of the period and he possibly coincided with Blanquita Suárez and saw her as a possible model for his works. Of this connection some sketches of the comic singer are conserved in the Museé National Picasso Paris and the oil painting of the Museu Picasso Blanquita Suárez, painted in Barcelona in 1917.
Interview with Blanquita Suárez in La Vanguardia on 7th October 1958
Currently this painting is on loan to the exhibition “Paral·lel Avenue, 1894-1939 Barcelona and the Spectacle of Modernity”of the CCCB that examines the Barcelona cultural offer which took place over 40 years in this major thoroughfare of the city.
References and links
File of the work of Blanquita Suárez in the website of the Museu Picasso
Catalogue of the exhibition “Paral·lel Avenue, 1894-1939 Barcelona and the Spectacle of Modernity”. Diputació de Barcelona. CCCB. Barcelona, 2012
Exhibition “Paral·lel Avenue, 1894-1939 Barcelona and the Spectacle of Modernity” at CCCB
File of the artist Blanquita Suárez in the website of the Fundació El Molino
Interview of the section “Hand to hand” in La Vanguardia Española. Tuesday 7th October 1958, page 28
Le nouveau dictionaire Picasso by Pierre Daix. Robert Laffont. Paris, 2012
Article “Teatre Eldorado” from the blog Barcelofília
The other inhabitants of the museum
Josefa Ruiz Blasco, Anut Pepa
Sebastià Junyent, modernist painter
Léonide Massine, the harlequin
José Ruiz Picasso
María Picasso Blasco
Mª Dolores Ruiz Blasco
Leave a Reply