This important work in the oeuvre of Julio González, which he started as a piece about motherhood, later gained a political significance as a result of the Spanish Civil War. The title is also a reference to the mountain of Montserrat near Barcelona, a traditional symbol of the sculptor’s native Catalonia.
This sculpture depicts a simply dressed peasant woman standing on a wooden box, in a militant pose, with a sickle in her right hand and a child on her left arm. The work is made up of pieces of sheet iron, cut, beaten and welded together, with little detail.
González, who came from a family of workers in precious metals, was taught to work with metal at an early age and later learned industrial welding at the Renault factory. He pioneered welding techniques in sculpture and his works came to reflect his pessimistic reaction to the war. “It is high time that this metal ceases to be a murderer and the simple instrument of an overly mechanical science. Today, the door is opened wide for this material to be – at last! – forged and hammered by the peaceful hands of artists.”
The work was exhibited at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1937, alongside Guernica, a politically charged work by Picasso, with whom he worked for many years.
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