In an article published in the magazine El Gráfico Ilustrado, and a lecture entitled “El arte francés en Bogotá” [French Art in Bogotá], later published in his book Crítica y arte [Criticism and Art] (1932), Baldomero Sanín Cano (1861–1957) discusses the 1928 Exposición de arte francés,organized in Colombia by M. Jacques Franco and Colombian painter Roberto Pizano (1896–1930). Specifically, Sanín Cano addresses the influence of French thought and history on the people of Colombia. In the article in El Gráfico, the author attempts to encourage the development of a viewing public open to modern art. To that end, he focuses on formal analysis and on the philosophical intentions of French artists. Sanín Cano extols French art as the engine of fundamental transformations in nineteenth-century modern art. He points out that Impressionism has been fully embraced by the local art scene (see “El impresionismo en Bogotá I,” ).
Writer, journalist, art and literary critic Baldomero Sanín Cano is crucial to understanding the early twentieth-century intellectual life in Colombia. The modernist nature of his thinking was unmatched in the cultural sphere in Colombia in the twenties as he joined the influences of German, English, and French philosophy with a commitment to furthering and innovating local thought. He aspired to bring together foreign ideas for the sake of constructing truly modern thinking. In the field of art, Sanín Cano was an important participant in the controversy that ensued in 1904 around Impressionism in general, and the work of European-educated Colombian painter Andrés de Santamaría (1860–1945) in particular. His aim was to combat strictly local thinking, which because it was based only on a partial understanding, kept Colombia from participating in an openly antiacademic movement.