Torres Oliver is one of the most important Spanish literary translators. The highlights of his career have included the translation of English and French works from various literary sub-genres, such as historical essays, philosophy and novels. He is a specialist in fantasy literature and Anglo-Saxon terror, being considered, along with Rafael Llopis, the main introducer of the Gothic novel in Spain.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of his translation of Los Mitos de Chtulhu (The Chtulhu Myths Alianza-Valdemar) which lead to different recognitions, such as two Premios Nacionales de Traducción (National Translation Awards) granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture: Premio de Literatura a la Traducción de Obras Infantiles y Juveniles (Literature Translation Award for Works for young people) (1991) and Premio Nacional a la Obra de un Traductor (National Award for the Work of a Translator) in recognition of all his professional work (2001).
In respect of his pictorial work, Torres Oliver stands out as a literary illustrator. His compositions can be appreciated on the covers of the Valdemar Gótica collection, also in the illustrations inside titles such as El Golem, Los Elixires del Diablo and Melmoth.
Entitled La redoma, created in 1998, this oil painting forms part of six canvases painted by Torres Oliver, showing six allegories. This painting represents a ghostly image with a glass flask in his hands. The scene symbolises the liquid and mysterious part of medicine and alchemy, as elements of the birth of science.
These canvases were originally intended and created to exhibit on a “profane” platform, more specifically, in the desecrated church of San Agustín in Toro (Zamora). Since the paintings were installed in the altar piece of this church, the exhibition has travelled to different cities, Vilamuseu being the final stop for one of the pieces that form this work.
In 2015 La redoma formed part of the exhibition ‘La imagen fantástica’ (The fantasy image) in the Sala Kubo-Kuxta Aretoa del Kursaal, in San Sebastián, where it shared space with other fantasy art from Goya, Benlliure, Segrelles, Picasso, Dalí and the Equipo Crónica. The painting is oil on canvas with a base of sand and glue that gives the aspect of painting on a wall, the situation for which it was originally intended.