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Julio de Diego Art

American, 1900-1979

Julio De Diego was one of the most colorful artists to work in Chicago. Born in Madrid in 1900, he left home at the age of 15 to apprentice as a scene painter for theatres. After service in the Spanish army, including six months fighting in North Africa, Diego traveled to Paris and Rome to study art. He also appeared as an extra in Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes. He emigrated to the United States in 1924. He lived in New York for two years, then went to Chicago, where he remained until 1942. At first, he earned a living as a magazine illustrator, decorative painter and graphic designer. By the early 1930s, Diego began to show regularly at the Art Institute of Chicago, appearing at thirty-two annual exhibitions of Chicago Artists, American artists and watercolorists, between 1931–47. He was employed by the easel division of the Illinois Art Project during the mid-1930s. He traveled to Mexico for the first time in 1939, becoming close friends with Carlos Mérida. Diego was deeply affected by the Spanish Civil War, and many of his works reflect the conflict that presaged the Second World War. Meditation over Inexplicable Logic seems to be a kind of preparation for his self-portrait in the Art Institute’s collection, titled The Perplexity of What To Do (1940). Both feature isolated, brooding figures lost in their inability to respond to events. He left Chicago in 1942 but continued to exhibit his work at major institutions. In 1946, Life magazine’s article described him spending time “cooking aromatic Spanish dishes and reading works of Spanish mystical philosophers and poets. He smokes cigarettes incessantly and dresses flamboyantly, affecting cerise mufflers and jangling bracelets.” Diego gained more notoriety in 1948 when he married the great burlesque artist, Gypsy Rose Lee. After their separation and divorce in the mid-1950s, he lived for a time in New York at the Chelsea Hotel, a haunt of artists, musicians and poets. Diego settled in Sarasota, Florida in 1967, near former friends from Chicago, where he died in 1979. Daniel Schulman References “Julio De Diego: He Paints Weird War and Peace.” Life Magazine, March 11, 1946. De Diego, Julio. Pamphlet File P-07866. Ryerson Library, Art Institute of Chicago.

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"Artist Model’s”
By Julio de Diego
Located in Southampton, NY
Original artwork of artist model’s by Julio De Diego using underdrawing of graphite with a watercolor wash. Signed lower left in pencil. Very good original condition. Nicely framed...
Category

1870s American Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Watercolor, Archival Paper, Graphite

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1953 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

"City East" Julio De Diego, Spanish Modernist Composition, Abstracted Cityscape
By Julio de Diego
Located in New York, NY
Julio de Diego City East, circa 1943 Signed lower right Oil on masonite 29 3/4 x 24 1/2 inches Exhibitions: San Antonio, McNay Art Institute. Julio De Diego was one of the most col...
Category

1940s Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil

The Book of Ah!
By Julio de Diego
Located in Fairlawn, OH
String bound booklet (portfolio) with six hand colored woodcuts, signed in pencil by the artist, tipped in the book Provenance: Estate of the artist By descent to his daughter Kir...
Category

1960s American Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Woodcut

Seated Female Nude (Devora)
By Julio de Diego
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Seated Female Nude (Devora) Watercolor on paper, c. 1970 Signed in pencil lower right (see photo) A folio from the artist's sketchbook. Done while the artist was in Florida. Conditio...
Category

1970s American Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Watercolor

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1955 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, and published by the Artists Equity Association of New York in an edition of 2000...
Category

1950s Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

Homage to the Spanish Republic 1938 oil painting by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
An early work by Julio De Diego embodies the deep love he had for his homeland of Spain, combined with his strong emotions against war. The peacefulness of the couple holding hands l...
Category

1930s Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1956 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

Tlaloc and the Tiger oil painting by Julio de Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Tlaloc and the Tiger (1939) Oil on panel 16" x 12" 23 ¾" x 18 ¾"x 2 ½" framed Signed and dated (and inscribed) "de Diego 39" lower left. Provenance: The artist; private collection Ch...
Category

1930s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Panel, Oil

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1954 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

Lords of the Sky oil painting by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Lords of the Sky (c.1950) Oil on canvas, 30" x 24" 40" x 34" x 2" framed Provenance: The Artist, his daughter About this artist: Julio De Diego crafted a formidable persona within ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Canvas, Oil

Ceremonial Dancers oil and tempera painting by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Artwork measures 48" x 30" and framed 56 ¼" x 38 ¼" x 3" Provenance: John Heller Gallery, NYC, circa 1975 (label verso) The artist's daughter Corbino Galleries, Sarasota, FL (1990)...
Category

1940s Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil, Tempera

Christmas Turkey & the General's Daughter painting by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
The artwork measures 18" x 24", and the frame 25" x 29.5" x 1.75". Upon request a video clip of this work may be provided. About this artist: Julio De Diego crafted a formidable per...
Category

1960s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Watercolor, Tempera, Paper

The Magician oil and tempera painting by Julio de Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Julio De Diego’s Atomic Series paintings made an extraordinary statement regarding the shock and fear that accompanied the dawn of the nuclear age. In the artist’s own words, “Scientists were working secretly to develop formidable powers taken from the mysterious depths of the earth - with the power to make the earth useless! Then, the EXPLOSION! . . . we entered the Atomic Age, and from there the neo-Atomic war begins. Explosions fell everywhere and man kept on fighting, discovering he could fight without flesh.” To execute these works, De Diego developed a technique of using tempera underpainting before applying layer upon layer of pigmented oil glazes. The result is paintings with surfaces which were described as “bonelike” in quality. The forms seem to float freely, creating a three-dimensional visual effect. In the 1954 book The Modern Renaissance in American Art, author Ralph Pearson summarizes the series as “a fantastic interpretation of a weighty theme. Perhaps it is well to let fantasy and irony appear to lighten the devastating impact. By inverse action, they may in fact increase its weight.” Exhibited 1964 Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas This work retains its original frame which measures 54" x 42" x 2" About this artist: Julio De Diego crafted a formidable persona within the artistic developments and political struggles of his time. The artist characterized his own work as “lyrical,” explaining, “through the years, the surrealists, the social-conscious painters and the others tried to adopt me, but I went my own way, good, bad or indifferent.” [1] His independence manifested early in life when de Diego left his parent’s home in Madrid, Spain, in adolescence following his father’s attempts to curtail his artistic aspirations. At the age of fifteen he held his first exhibition, set up within a gambling casino. He managed to acquire an apprenticeship in a studio producing scenery for Madrid’s operas, but moved from behind the curtains to the stage, trying his hand at acting and performing as an extra in the Ballet Russes’ Petrouchka with Nijinsky. He spent several years in the Spanish army, including a six-month stretch in the Rif War of 1920 in Northern Africa. His artistic career pushed ahead as he set off for Paris and became familiar with modernism’s forays into abstraction, surrealism, and cubism. The artist arrived in the U.S. in 1924 and settled in Chicago two years later. He established himself with a commission for the decoration of two chapels in St. Gregory’s Church. He also worked in fashion illustration, designed magazine covers and developed a popular laundry bag for the Hotel Sherman. De Diego began exhibiting through the Art Institute of Chicago in 1929, and participated in the annual Chicago Artists Exhibitions, Annual American Exhibitions, and International Water Color Exhibitions. He held a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in the summer of 1935. Though the artist’s career was advancing, his family life had deteriorated. In 1932 his first marriage dissolved, and the couple’s young daughter Kiriki was sent to live with friend Paul Hoffman. De Diego continued to develop his artistic vocabulary with a growing interest in Mexican art. He traveled throughout the country acquainting himself with the works of muralists such as Carlos Merida, and also began a collection of small native artifacts...
Category

1940s American Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil, Tempera

St. Atomic oil and tempera painting by Julio de Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Julio De Diego’s Atomic Series paintings made an extraordinary statement regarding the shock and fear that accompanied the dawn of the nuclear age. In the artist’s own words, “Scientists were working secretly to develop formidable powers taken from the mysterious depths of the earth - with the power to make the earth useless! Then, the EXPLOSION! . . . we entered the Atomic Age, and from there the neo-Atomic war begins. Explosions fell everywhere and man kept on fighting, discovering he could fight without flesh.” To execute these works, De Diego developed a technique of using tempera underpainting before applying layer upon layer of pigmented oil glazes. The result is paintings with surfaces which were described as “bonelike” in quality. The forms seem to float freely, creating a three-dimensional visual effect. In the 1954 book The Modern Renaissance in American Art, author Ralph Pearson summarizes the series as “a fantastic interpretation of a weighty theme. Perhaps it is well to let fantasy and irony appear to lighten the devastating impact. By inverse action, they may in fact increase its weight.” Exhibited 1950 University of Illinois at Urbana "Contemporary American Painting" 1964 Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas This work retains its original frame which measures 54" x 36" x 2". About this artist: Julio De Diego crafted a formidable persona within the artistic developments and political struggles of his time. The artist characterized his own work as “lyrical,” explaining, “through the years, the surrealists, the social-conscious painters and the others tried to adopt me, but I went my own way, good, bad or indifferent.” [1] His independence manifested early in life when de Diego left his parent’s home in Madrid, Spain, in adolescence following his father’s attempts to curtail his artistic aspirations. At the age of fifteen he held his first exhibition, set up within a gambling casino. He managed to acquire an apprenticeship in a studio producing scenery for Madrid’s operas, but moved from behind the curtains to the stage, trying his hand at acting and performing as an extra in the Ballet Russes’ Petrouchka with Nijinsky. He spent several years in the Spanish army, including a six-month stretch in the Rif War of 1920 in Northern Africa. His artistic career pushed ahead as he set off for Paris and became familiar with modernism’s forays into abstraction, surrealism, and cubism. The artist arrived in the U.S. in 1924 and settled in Chicago two years later. He established himself with a commission for the decoration of two chapels in St. Gregory’s Church. He also worked in fashion illustration, designed magazine covers and developed a popular laundry bag for the Hotel Sherman. De Diego began exhibiting through the Art Institute of Chicago in 1929, and participated in the annual Chicago Artists Exhibitions, Annual American Exhibitions, and International Water Color Exhibitions. He held a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in the summer of 1935. Though the artist’s career was advancing, his family life had deteriorated. In 1932 his first marriage dissolved, and the couple’s young daughter Kiriki was sent to live with friend Paul Hoffman. De Diego continued to develop his artistic vocabulary with a growing interest in Mexican art. He traveled throughout the country acquainting himself with the works of muralists such as Carlos Merida, and also began a collection of small native artifacts...
Category

1940s American Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil, Tempera

Inevitable Day – Birth of the Atom oil and tempera painting by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Julio De Diego’s Atomic Series paintings made an extraordinary statement regarding the shock and fear that accompanied the dawn of the nuclear age. In the artist’s own words, “Scientists were working secretly to develop formidable powers taken from the mysterious depths of the earth - with the power to make the earth useless! Then, the EXPLOSION! . . . we entered the Atomic Age, and from there the neo-Atomic war begins. Explosions fell everywhere and man kept on fighting, discovering he could fight without flesh.” To execute these works, De Diego developed a technique of using tempera underpainting before applying layer upon layer of pigmented oil glazes. The result is paintings with surfaces which were described as “bonelike” in quality. The forms seem to float freely, creating a three-dimensional visual effect. In the 1954 book The Modern Renaissance in American Art, author Ralph Pearson summarizes the series as “a fantastic interpretation of a weighty theme. Perhaps it is well to let fantasy and irony appear to lighten the devastating impact. By inverse action, they may in fact increase its weight.” Bibliography Art in America, April 1951, p.78 About this artists: Julio De Diego crafted a formidable persona within the artistic developments and political struggles of his time. The artist characterized his own work as “lyrical,” explaining, “through the years, the surrealists, the social-conscious painters and the others tried to adopt me, but I went my own way, good, bad or indifferent.” [1] His independence manifested early in life when de Diego left his parent’s home in Madrid, Spain, in adolescence following his father’s attempts to curtail his artistic aspirations. At the age of fifteen he held his first exhibition, set up within a gambling casino. He managed to acquire an apprenticeship in a studio producing scenery for Madrid’s operas, but moved from behind the curtains to the stage, trying his hand at acting and performing as an extra in the Ballet Russes’ Petrouchka with Nijinsky. He spent several years in the Spanish army, including a six-month stretch in the Rif War of 1920 in Northern Africa. His artistic career pushed ahead as he set off for Paris and became familiar with modernism’s forays into abstraction, surrealism, and cubism. The artist arrived in the U.S. in 1924 and settled in Chicago two years later. He established himself with a commission for the decoration of two chapels in St. Gregory’s Church. He also worked in fashion illustration, designed magazine covers and developed a popular laundry bag for the Hotel Sherman. De Diego began exhibiting through the Art Institute of Chicago in 1929, and participated in the annual Chicago Artists Exhibitions, Annual American Exhibitions, and International Water Color Exhibitions. He held a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in the summer of 1935. Though the artist’s career was advancing, his family life had deteriorated. In 1932 his first marriage dissolved, and the couple’s young daughter Kiriki was sent to live with friend Paul Hoffman. De Diego continued to develop his artistic vocabulary with a growing interest in Mexican art. He traveled throughout the country acquainting himself with the works of muralists such as Carlos Merida, and also began a collection of small native artifacts...
Category

1940s American Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil, Tempera

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1950 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph is from the rare 1951 "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 1951 Spr...
Category

1950s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

original lithograph
By Julio de Diego
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1952 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled
By Julio de Diego
Located in Lawrence, NY
Provenance: Daughter of artist, Fletcher Gallery, Woodstock, NY De Diego was known for his "lyrical" works (his term), which combined elements of surrealism, cubism and the social commentary of the politically active Mexican painters. Born in Madrid in 1900, Julio De Diego left home at the age of 15 to apprentice as a scene painter for theaters. After service in the Spanish army...
Category

1940s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Tempera

Julio de Diego Stonelain Pitcher for Stonelain, Abstract Design
By Julio de Diego
Located in Phoenix, AZ
Wonderful ceramic art pottery pitcher designed by Julio de Diego for Stonelain. Measures: 11" H x 9" W. In mint condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. Retailed by Associated American Artists Glazed decorated earthenware. New York, mid-20th century. Large ewer...
Category

Mid-20th Century Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Clay

Critics in a red cloud
By Julio de Diego
Located in Miami, FL
Signed lower right . gilt frame some minor surface grime other than that is present very well with strong saturated colors
Category

Mid-20th Century Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Tempera, Oil

Heavenly Phenomena
By Julio de Diego
Located in Santa Fe, NM
Provenance Private collection, Chicago, IL, 1996-present Exhibited Bonestell Gallery, New York, May, 1940 Museum of Modern Art, 1943 (label verso) 42.25 x 34.25 inches framed
Category

1930s Modern Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Board, Oil

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Previously Available Items
Altitude 2000, Departure by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in Hudson, NY
Featured in the Julio de Diego - Paintings and Drawings exhibition at the McNay Art Institute, this is an exceptional work by the artist. Altitude 2000, Departure (1946) Oil on maso...
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1940s Abstract Julio de Diego Art

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Masonite, Oil

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By Julio de Diego
Located in Wilton Manors, FL
Beautiful surrealist drawing by Spanish surrealist, Julio de Diego (1900-1979). Color pencil and graphite on paper, image measures 8.5 x 11.5 inches; 15 x 17 inches framed. Signed and dated lower right. Excellent condition with no damage or restoration. Birth place: Madrid, Spain Death place: Woodstock, NY Addresses: NYC; Woodstock, NY; Sarasota, FL Profession: Painter, illustrator, printmaker, designer, craftsperson, teacher Studied: Study in Madrid, Paris & Rome. Exhibited: AIC, 1929-46 (solo, 1935); AIC, 1935, 1944; Chicago Soc. A., 1938 (gold medal); WMAA, 1940-54; Corcoran Gal, 1943; PAFA, 1944-53; Milwaukee AI, 1944; Surrealist Exhib, Paris, France & London, Eng, 1947; Int. Cult. Affairs Exhib., Dept. of State, Paris, London & Rome, 1948; Carnegie Inst.; Frank Oehlscchlaeger, Chicago, 1970s; Woodstock Artist's Assoc., 1977 (retrospective). Other awards: Polish Art Soc. (prize); Soc. Advertisers (prize); First prize, Men & Steel Show, 1954; The Figure, Arvida Corp., Sarasota, FL, 1971. Member: AEA New York (pres); Sarasota Artist Assn.; Woodstock AA Work: Walker Art Center; IBM; AIC; Milwaukee AI; SFMA; PMG; U.S. State Dept.; MMA; Washington Univ, St Louis, MO; Montclair Art Mus, NJ; Encyclopaedia Britannica Collection, New York; Santa Barbara Mus Art, CA; Woodstock AA. Commissions: Murals & chapel doors, St Gregory Church, Chicago, IL, 1929; Bullfight (mural), Hotel Sherman, Chicago, 1933; Fort Sheridan (mural), Fort Sheridan, Chicago, 1936; Story of Wine (mural), Hotels Ambassador & Sherman, Chicago, 1937; metal sculptures & murals, Ling Nang Restaurant, New York, 1959; also many others. Comments: Best known for his series of war paintings and for his covers of Fortune magazine. He was also a mural painter, fashion illustrator, jewelry maker, stage scene designer, and actor. He once appeared as an extra in the Ballet Russe's Petrouchka with Nijinsky. He came to NYC in 1924 after extensive travel in Europe. His wife was the famous stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee. He was proud of his collection of African, Mexican, and Indian toys and artifacts and imaginative junk. Teaching: AIC, 1939-40; Univ Denver, 1948-52; Artist Equity Workshop, 1955-57. Illustrator: Rendezvous with Spain, 1946. Author: Commentaries: Europe, 1952; Have You Seen Birds...?, 1968; A Stranger in the Spanish Village, 1964; The Book of Ah!,1970; Cuckoo heads, 1971. Sources: WW73; WW47; Bruce Henderson, "He Paints Weird War & Peace" Life Mag (1946); Ralph M Pearson...
Category

1940s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Color Pencil

Man and Beast
Man and Beast
H 15 in W 17 in D 1 in
Admirable Cat Analyzed by the Bourgeoisie
By Julio de Diego
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed Tempera by Spanish artist Julio de Diego (1900-1979), titled "Admirable Cat Analyzed by the Bourgeoisie", c. 1950s. Hand signed lower right. A great image, wonderf...
Category

1950s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Tempera

"Love That Makes the World Go Round"
By Julio de Diego
Located in Fairlawn, OH
"Love That Makes the World Go Round" Signed in pencil lower left: "de Diego" and dated '47 Edition: Intended edition of 100 never realized. No more than 20 impressions were ever prin...
Category

1940s Surrealist Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Screen

Untitled
By Julio de Diego
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Signed in ink lower right "de Diego," dated '50 Provenance: Estate of the artist By descent to the artist's daughter Kiriki Metzo References And Exhibitions: A combina...
Category

1950s Julio de Diego Art

Materials

Gouache, Watercolor

Untitled (non-objective composition with Southwestern motifs)
By Julio de Diego
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Signed "de Diego July 1947"
Category

1940s Julio de Diego Art

Standing Female Nude
By Julio de Diego
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Signed lower right: "de Diego" A folio from the artist's sketchbook, done while he was in New York. Provenance: Estate of the artist By descent to the artist's daughter Kiriki M...
Category

1950s Julio de Diego Art

Original Painting by Julio De Diego
By Julio de Diego
Located in New York, NY
A real gem of a piece by American Modernist Julio DeDiego (1900-1979). Titled "Young girl thinking deeply of Past Exciting Dreams", this item is tempera, dated 1977, and is 19 1/2"...
Category

1970s American Vintage Julio de Diego Art

Julio De Diego art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Julio de Diego art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Julio de Diego in paint, oil paint, tempera and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the Surrealist style. Not every interior allows for large Julio de Diego art, so small editions measuring 9 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of David Cheifetz, Nura Ulreich, and Jirayr Hamparzoom Zorthian. Julio de Diego art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $150 and tops out at $26,000, while the average work can sell for $5,650.

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