El Rodeo (The Rodeo)

Buenos Aires, Argentina
Oil on canvas
76 x 166 cm
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires. Donated by Alberto V. López, 3189
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Argentinian artist Prilidiano Pueyrredón was widely respected for his portrait practice, but his rural genre scenes were an important aspect of his artistic production as well. In El Rodeo he painted a range of rural tasks—men saddling a horse, shepherds herding cattle, horsemen keeping watch and participating in the rodeo—in a remarkably horizontal composition. Its low horizontal line grounds the work, emphasizing the flatness of the pampas, while the vast and fertile farmlands of Argentina give visual weight to the open sky. Though seemingly empty, the pampas were productive spaces, both for rearing cattle and for inspiring the region’s artists and writers.