We will review the artistic relationship that the couple of abstract painters Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman maintained with Menorca and especially with Fornells
As we have already explained in previous posts from our blog, Fornells has always been an inspiration for all kinds of artists. With regard to painting, we should highlight the artist couple composed by Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman, who resided in Fornells in the 1930s.
Hartung, a German national, and Bergman, a Norwegian national, had met years ago in Paris, a city to which they had moved to perfect their technique and surround themselves with the so-called School of Paris, which represented the cream of the artistic movements that would be the most important of the early twentieth century (e.g., post-impressionism, expressionism and surrealism).
After marrying, the couple decided to find a destination that would enable them to strengthen their creativity. They firstly thought in Mallorca, but finally they decided to settle in Menorca because it was quite quieter than Mallorca. Bergman later stated:
"as if it was another world, in Menorca shone a splendid sun, whitewashed houses and miles of white walls also. [...] It was a miniature paradise I was totally amazed".
The couple decided to live in Fornells; they firstly settled in a small and humble fisherman's house and then designed a house on a hill in front of Cala Tirant; this house mixed Menorca's amazing local architecture and Cubist style. This house, that artists called the house of life was sadly demolished later in the twentieth century, so today nothing remains of it.
The Menorca period of the couple Hartung-Bergman was very fruitful from an artistic point of view. Sadly, the adventure did not end too well, because the existing pre-war climate in 1935 caused many Menorcans to consider that they were spies. Hartung stated later in his life that its passage on the island was a unique experience:
"the happiness shone again. My nerves were calmed; I regained the taste for painting. I found the freedom to paint and draw in a totally different way and my former freedom. It was a great moment".
Undoubtedly, it is an honour for Fornells and for Menorca to have inspired Hartung, one of the greatest exponents of lyrical abstraction and tachisme, and Bergman.