Emili Vilà Gorgoll (Llagostera, 1887-1967) - Desfile art-decó

Emili Vilà Gorgoll (Llagostera, 1887-1967) - Desfile art-decó
Mixed media - Hand signed - c.1930

The painting is signed by the artist at the bottom “Vilá”

The painting is in good condition

The painting is framed

Dimensions of the painting: cm height x cm width

Dimensions of the frame: cm height x cm width

The painter Emili Vilnius and Gorgoll was born on October 18th, 1887 in Llagostera, at number 29 of Calle San Pedro, currently the museum that bears his name. Her father was a taper, he had a small family business, and his mother made hats and caps. From a young age Vilà showed his artistic ability and his parents sent him to study at the Baixas Academy where Isidre Nonell was also a student. While studying in Barcelona he began working in a foundry.

During the first half of the twentieth century, with the advent of the crisis of the cork industry, Emilio Vilnius’ father was forced to close his business. He was offered a job at a company of cap manufacturers in Pernay (Champagne), and that's when the family settled in France. They moved to Pernay in 1906, when the painter was only 19 years old. Soon after, he began to work in a foundry in the Val d'Oise.

A few years later, Villano and his sister took a trip to Paris to collect some bills and look for jobs. Emili Vilà entered in a smelter in the city and, thanks to his experience, they accepted him. He later worked as an apprentice labeller and thus consolidated his vocation as a poster artist. At that time, Vilà was starting to make a living as an artist.

In 1912, in the area of Montmatre and Montparnasse Vilnius was one of the first and most recognized poster artists in Paris. It was then when he began to work for prestigious film companies of the time such as Gaumont, Fox, Pathé, Paramount, Galeries Barbés or Monat Films creating advertising posters for all kinds of products, whether edible, cosmetics or automobiles

During their early years in Paris, the Vilnius family lived at number 6 rue Triton, where he had his studio. Vilà worked hard to support the family, which is why he never shared the bohemian life that most painters and friends had then.

The 1920s was the golden age of the painter. Posters and more posters filled his studio, his works increased their price until he could afford to rent a small palace at number 58 Boulevard Voltaire, a flat with 12 balconies, private elevator, several showrooms and a patio with bronze statues. During that time, Vilà related to the crème de la crème in Paris, even famous foreigners of the time visited him. In 1929 he won the competition of the Anti-Tuberculous stamp, to which about 200 painters presented themselves, this just reinforced the fame that he already had. In 1930, print runs of this stamp with Vilà’s drawing came out, but the commissions and sales plummeted due to the Crash of 29 in the New York Stock Exchange. It was at that moment, given the widespread bad economic situation, that the artist invented a parlour game called MI-O-MI, investing much of his capital. The game was put into operation in 1932 without any success. Vilà was declared bankrupt in 1936 and returned to his native country to settle down.

Once in Catalonia, and in the midst of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the artist rented an estate near Sant Feliu de Guíxols, in a Costa Brava still untouched. Vilà called house with the name of Mas MI-O-MI and he rehabilitated the room, the gardens, a workshop and an exhibition hall.

After the war the painter saw the economy recover and he returned to work as an artist. The new rich of the post-war period became his clients and Vilnius settled at the number 21 of Barcelona's Paseo de Gracia, ​a flat with workshop and exhibition hall. At that time he interspersed his stays between Mas MI-O-MI and his studio in Barcelona.

In 1958 Vilà left his “mas” to settle at number 90 of the Palamós road, in Sant Feliu de Guíxols. When he had enough capital, in 1965, he bought his birth house in San Pedro de Llagostera Street. At that time he began to restore it and carry out reforms. In September 1967, Emili Vilà opened the Emilio Vilà and Gorgoll Museum, three months later, in December 1967, he died at the age of 80.

His intense life, between Llagostera, Paris and the Costa Brava, was immortalized with two honorary titles: the French knight's decoration of the Legion of Honour (established by Napoleon I in 1802) and the French artist's Cross Award.

With the Emilio Vilà y Gorgoll Museum, the town of Llagostera remembers the artistic legacy of one of his sons.

Lot details
Emili Vilà Gorgoll (Llagostera, 1887-1967)
Title of artwork
Desfile art-decó
Mixed media
Hand signed
Overall in good condition
Sold with frame
Image size
60×46 cm
Total dimensions
77×61×2 cm
Not registered yet?
By creating your free Catawiki account, you’ll be able to bid on any of our 50,000 special objects up for auction every week.
or Sign in