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  • Author: LOPEZ RUBIO, Francisco (artist)
  • Publisher: Cartografia Hispanica - Serie Grafica
  • Engraver: Industrias Graficas 'Martin', Madrid
  • Date: 1940
  • Dimensions: sheet: 105 x 70 cms


Provincia de Cadiz [1940]: Uncommon pictorial map by the renowned Spanish caricaturist, Francisco Lopez Rubio [1895-1965]

About this piece:

Provincia de Cadiz

Colour offset map. One short tear into image in right margin at upper corner, a couple of further marginal nicks & tears, expertly & invisibly closed and repaired. Upper margin slightly uneven at top left corner. The sheet edges & blank margins reinforced on all four sides on verso. In all other respects a fine example, the printed colours fresh & bright.

Uncommon and highly decorative pictorial map depicting the Southern Spanish Province of Cadiz, designed and published by artist and cartoonist, Francisco Lopez Rubio [1895-1965]. The map was one of a series of pictorial maps of the Iberian peninsula, Spain and several of its overseas territories published in the early 1940s as part of an unusual & seemingly incomplete pictorial map project: Cartografia Hispanica – Serie Geografica / Serie Historico –  initiated by Lopez Rubio in conjunction with author & editor, Manuel L Ortega (Pichardo) [1888-1943].

The map depicts the whole of the Province of Cadiz highlighting (in profile) the principal towns and settlements as well as the main rivers, roads and railway lines.  Special attention is given to the agricultural & food production of the region, with vignettes of wheat fields, orange & olive trees; sherry production; grape harvests & wine pressing; salt refining and goat, pig & sheep farming. Included also are recreational pursuits such as riding & hunting and local traditions & cultural activities such as flamenco and bull fighting. Offshore a closed circle of sail boats highlights the importance of tuna fishing to the Gaditano economy.

In the upper right of the map, Lopez Rubio provides a list of renowned & famous Gaditanos (natives of Cadiz) and a summary of the Province’s principal products and industries.

Francisco Lopez Rubio [1895-1965] was a renowned early 20th Century Spanish graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist. He was born in Motril, Granada in 1895, moving to Madrid at the age of 20 to pursue a career as a professional caricaturist and illustrator. He quickly made a name for himself and held the first  exhibition of his own work at Madrid’s Salon Arte Moderno in 1916. His younger brother was the academic, dramatist & Hollywood film director, José Lopez Rubio [1903-1996]. Francisco was a regular contributor to Madrid’s satirical magazines during the interwar period, being perhaps most famous for his long association with the children’s magazine Gente Menuda (Little Kids) a supplement of Blanco y Negro, for whom he began to work in close collaboration with Elena Fortun in 1928. Through its pages he created an array of memorable characters, including the rabbit Roenueces, Don Oppas, the magician Pirulo, Professor Bismuto, and twins Lita & Lito – who together captivated & enlivened the childhoods of innumerable Spaniards. He also worked for Buen Humor, Muchas Gracias, Guttierez, La Voz, El Sol & ABC and other children’s magazines including Pinocho & Macaco. He collaborated in the production of the animated film Serenata in 1934. A pioneering master of the linea clara (soft line) and abiding always by the maxim “less is more”, his clear & minimalist style was well ahead of its time. After the war, his career declined though it witnessed a short-lived revival during the late 1950s when he began working for the magazine Don José. He died in Madrid in 1965.

At least another six or seven maps in this series, Cartografia Hispanica, all designed by Lopez Rubio, working in collaboration with Manuel L Ortega (Pichardo) [1888-1943], were published in the period between about 1940 & 1944. They comprise the entire Iberian Peninsula (Peninsula Iberica); the Victories of General Franco in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939 (La Victoria de Franco…); Spanish West Africa (Mapa de la Guinea Continental Española); the West African islands of Annobon with Corisco & Elobeyes (Mapa de Annobón, Corisco y Elobeyes); and the neighbouring Island of Fernando Po or Bioko (Mapa de la Isla de Fernando Poo). Additionally a fine map delineating the three voyages of Christopher Columbus (Las Rutas de Colón) has also been identified in this same series, but seemingly from a different set entitled Rutas Imperiales which follows a slightly more colourful design template.