30/04/15

VEJER DE LA FRONTERA ( Retamero Sanchez, 2014)

vejer

This work belongs to a collection of personal paintings of Retamero Sánchez. It is a painting of a small town in the province of Cadiz, South of Spain, called Vejer de la Frontera, wich is near other towns like Conil de la Frontera, Zahara de Los Atunes and Chiclana de la Frontera. The painting was taken from the website retart.es and it was made 2014. Retamero Sánchez is a Spanish painter born in Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz). He is a self-taught painter with over thirty years of experience, classified as impressionist figurative although his trends are constantly evolving, but always staying true to a personal style. We can appreciate that the author has used the style of oil painting, as he does in  most of his paintings. He wants to show us how a typical Andalousian town looks like, the magic of a town with all the houses painted in white and how the sun shines in its making. As we can see, the town is at the top of a mountain so we can distinguish the rich flora with beautiful coloured plants and trees.

Vejer de la Frontera was conquered by the Arabs in 711 and was under their rule for five and a half centuries. The Arabs imposed their religion, customs and  buildings and gave to this town a very peculiar appearance. All the buildings are painted in white as in every Andalusian village to soak the heat and not to be so warm indoors.

We can see that Vejer is located at the top of a mountain in order to be very well defended. As a legacy of the Arab people we can see that there are narrow, winding streets, courtyards all very tight and no order, so we can say that is a style of popular Arab-Andalusian architecture. Also, we can find like in most of the Arab style towns, that the central area is the most important one. In the past there were a  mosque and a palace but now there are a parish church and a castle. The Castle of Vejer was declared a National Monument in 1931, and the parish church of Divino Salvador is the second tallest building. We can also see  the Torre de Buenavista and the Torre de la Corredera.

Finally, there are a number of gates to get into the city, and some principal streets to facilitate communication between the center and the outskirts. Nowadays the Vejer has two different parts, the one on the top of the mountain and the one at the one by the beach. As economic activities today predominates tourism, trade and fishing.

Sergio Martínez Chozas