Don Segundo Ramírez. 2017.

Watercolor on paper. Measurements: 65.5 x 48 cm. (25.78 x 18.89 in.) Piece in good condition, framed.

The character portrayed, don Segundo Ramírez (1853 - 1936) was the prop who inspired don Ricardo Güiraldes, his patron, to write the unforgettable work “Don Segundo Sombra”, whose prince edition came to light on July 1, 1926.

The artist evokes him by posing, standing with his hat on; wears a white shirt, a scarf around the neck; chiripá and espadrilles. At the waist, a handle with two important buckles. This image was immortalized in a photographic portrait around 1930, surely at the entrance to the Pulpería (grocer’s shop) “La Blanqueada”, an unavoidable point of his daily walk, where he attended to talk with other parishioners about old stories of gangs, harness and love affairs.

For Julián Althabe (b. 1947), the figure of Segundo Ramírez -Afro-Argentine born in Coronda, province of Santa Fe (1) - is of particular importance. Discovered in the pages of “Don Segundo Sombra”, he says that “Güiraldes' poetic prose filled me with images that I lived without mediation in the countryside, where nature strips naked”. (2) As a teenager, the son of an artist of volume and colors -Julián Althabe, Buenos Aires: 1911 / 1975-, he asked his father for permission to take a break at school and live the life of a troper in the fields Buenos Aires. That experience marked his life and guided him forever in his plastic creations.


1. Information provided by Norberto Pablo Cirio, a researcher specialized in Afro-Argentine and African-American studies.

2. Julián Althabe. Obras de ayer y de hoy. Catalogue of his exhibition in Museo Las Lilas. San Antonio de Areco. 2017. You can visit the catalog of this exhibition on the Internet:


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