During 1997 and 1998 Ramon Castañer painted two pictures of a historical nature: the paintings of The Petroleum, a diptych made up of "L'Arrastrà de Pelletes" and "La Barricada" (2.00 x 3.00 m each). These paintings describe the terrorist acts that took place in Alcoy (1873), where some insurgents assassinated the mayor Agustin Albors. It was the first anarchist-trade unionist revolt in the world. These two paintings were conceived in 1985, working with models and sketches. They are currently in the Town Hall of Alcoy.
Painting "L'arrastrà de Pelletes" at Botella's cottage in Agres. (Photos by Juan Antonio Castelló Llorens).
Details while painting "Pelletes".
"The daughters of Zeus and Themis arrive immediately turning drama into tragedy. Fate is cast. Clotho, Lachesis and Atropus have to comply with the orders of the son of Chaos and Night: Fate. From Atropus' belt hangs the tape that holds the great earth, it will be the fatal key to the story. The oldest of the Parkas will fulfil her mission again and will cut off the thread of Agustin Albors' life, whenever she wants. That and no other is the issue. Other people will be knocked back according to the mood of Destiny."
(Text: Antonio Castelló)
"From, his polished technique and his broad knowledge of the profession which he is devoted to and loyally representative of, 'that virtue which is difficult to achieve in realist art', Ramon Castañer creates an atmosphere, an enabling environment, he presents something true without 'inventions' or misrepresentations of the historical truth. Here is the Goya of 'El fusilamiento de la montaña del Príncipe Pío': realistic, direct, honest. And for this reason, he was forced to reflect on the days of July 1873, doing so conscientiously, with blacks and whites, greys, because this revolutionary and internationalist 'film' was photographed in black and white, at most, in sepia."
(Text: Adrián Espí Valdés)
Adrián Espí wrote in a very interesting article called "The Petrolio tragedy as seen by Ramón Castañer" (La tragedia de El Petroliovista por Ramón Castañer). See
"Look for yourselves and judge the magnitude of this work. Then, discuss, speak and congratulate yourself for being before an image of Alcoy, painted by this grand and enormous painter Ramon Castañer. Take in the whole sample, the sketches, the meticulous preparation, the study of the figures and, especially the two large canvases that give body and category to this work: one of them is 'La Barricada' -The city is completely taken and in a state of siege-, the other is the bloody lynching of the constitutional mayor who is dragged through the streets, while the furies scream and the goddesses of fate are shaken. It's the climax of the Revolution, it's the fallen angel of freedom, while soon night will burn in petrol, the cans are already prepared, in the solitude of fists and in the blue of the starry night in a torrid summer of tragedy."
(Text: Antonio Revert)
On July 6, 2021, Irene Elisa Santacreu Cortés published on the El Temps de les Arts website a interesting historical article in which the events that occurred in the revolt of The Petroleum are described. See