Portrait of the Poet Tomás Morales


Shown here is a portrait of Tomás Morales (1884−1921), one of the main poets of the Hispanic modernist movement. The image is by painter and photographer Tomás Gómez Bosch (1883−1980) a friend of the poet’s. The portrait bears less resemblance to traditional photographs than to a charcoal drawing, because Gómez Bosch modified the photograph with a gum bichromate process. This process was developed during the second half of the 19th century, and was used by Gómez Bosch between 1912 and 1919. Gómez Bosch drew on the light-sensitive film, adding expressive traces and light-and-shade effects that were not possible to achieve in a normal photograph. The portrait is set on a gray paper, and bears, in the lower-right corner, the artist’s seal with his name and the dedication: “To Tomás, with the fraternal love of a lifetime. Las Palmas, February 24, 1919.” In that same year, Morales dedicated to Gómez Bosch the poem “Elegía a las ciudades bombardeadas” (Elegy to the bombed cities), included in volume II of his major work Las rosas de Hércules (The roses of Hercules). This photograph is in the collections of the Tomás Morales House Museum, in Gran Canaria.

Last updated: June 13, 2016