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The other house of Carlos Enriquez
In Zulueta, a town in the central part of the Island, near the old terminal, you can still see the house where Carlos Enriquez was born in 1901. He's one of the most important, rebel and original painters of the Cuban modern art.

Countless stories about this man and his respectable family lies in the different layers of paint of its old wood and under the tiles that have challenged the tropical rain for years.

Despite the fact that Havana is proud to have the house - Hurón Azul Museum, a small house, studio and home in which the painter invested his parent's inheritance, loved his women, welcomed friends and visitors of the whole world and died- it was in his childhood house where he learned the true kindness, how to love animals and showed his early vocation for strokes and the paintbrush, something that later led him to left his engineering education in the United States to go to the School of Fine Arts of Pennsylvania.

In that place he learned the rural customs that he later showed once and again in his country scenes. He knew first hand about the miserable life of the agricultural workers and the privileged position of the landowners.

The symbols, the images of the daily life and the characteristics of the inhabitants of his place of origin were always part of the poetical world of his work. The search for expressions of vanguard begun in Europe led him to creation of his own style full of what's Cuban. Sensuality, colors and transparency, qualities that distinguished him, are continuously linked in his paintings to some of following rural elements: docile oxes, palm groves, sugar-cane plantations, calmed savanna rivers, the sugar mill and legend characters.

The attachment to rural roots is evident in paintings like Combate, Laguna de Banao, El rey de los campos de Cuba, Horno de Carbón, El entierro de las guajiras, Campesinos felices -a painting of social denunciation-, El rapto de las mulatas, among many others he created during his life as well as other painted during the last six years of illness and of volutary confinement at the Hurón Azul, where his expressionist strokes showed the state of neglect and oblivion the exploited peasantry suffered during the years of Cuban republic.

By coincidence, both houses were painted in blue. One, located in Párraga, was restored and declared a National Monument in 2000. It's a green area Enriquez transformed and decorated. Now, it's used to recall him by means of the paintings exhibited and the environment he created there.

The other one, located in Bartolomé Masó street, the current house of an old lady, is only recognized by the popular knowledge. Anybody in Zulueta, when passing by the house and with the common modesty of the town people points at it and says: Carlos Enriquez was born in that house!

Even when the dwelling has no plaque at the entrance, the inhabitants of the village are the true experts, they remember that that Carlos Enriquez was part of the artists that marked the beginning of the vanguard in the plastic arts of the Island.

Source: Cubarte

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