This article shows how the depiction of the Venezuelan painter and sculptor Rafaela Baroni in Sergio Chejfec’s novel Baroni, un viaje points to the settlement of a symbolic debt. This debt results from the lack of scholarly attention paid to the problematic portrayal of women as artists in Spanish American literature. As a response to a tradition that stresses masculine traits, women writers in Hispanic America have maintained an ambiguous relation to the depiction of fictional artists in their narratives. Thus, the character of Rafaela Baroni in Chefjec’s work assumes gothic characteristics as a body that returns from the realm of death. At the same time, Baroni exposes the contradictions of an over-intellectual understanding of art by exposing the inner life of a writer who seems to have lost faith in the artistic experience.