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Lumberjacks in the Basque Region

Gaspar Montes Iturrios
in collaboration with the Union de Artistas Vidrieros Irun
Basque region, Irun, 1957

343 x 104cm
Polychrome moulded glasses, painted with black vitreous paint and enamel colours, in its original wooden frame, complete with intact ventilation panel

A very interesting document of Basque art and culture


This tall, imposing arched window in its original wooden frame shows a traditional scene from the Basque country: the timber industry, which after fishing was previously the Basques’ main source of income. In the foreground a Basque man, perhaps even the owner of the wood, poses proudly in Basque attire before a felled tree reminiscent of a wild animal that has been brought down, with his right arm resting casually on the shaft of his axe and his left hand on his hip. Three lumberjacks work in the background.

The studio of the Union de Artistas Vidrieros Irun was founded in 1923 and in 2007 a branch was opened in Madrid. In the 1920s and 1930s, there was close collaboration between this studio and that of the Mauméjean brothers in Hendaye. The proverbial strength of the Basques derives from daily work in the woods, and from their working with axes and saws. Both of these feature in the rural sport known as aizkolaritza, in which ten tree trunks approximately 80cm in diameter have to be sawn through as quickly as possible, and arpanariak, in which ten logs of c.35–60cm are chopped up.

The original location of this window is not known. The contract book of the Union de Artistas Vidrieros Irun studio simply notes that it was a private commission in Irun.


Aizkolariak (sportsmen in the Basque sport of aizkolaritza)

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Biografie Gaspar Montes Iturrios
Biografie Union de Artistas Vidrieros Irun

Gaspar Montes Iturrios, stained-glass window, Irun, vitrail basque