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Biography of Luis Álvarez Catalá (1836-1901)


Spanish painter; He was born in the monastery of Helmo (Asturias) in 1836, although some sources consider him Madrid, and died in Madrid in 1901. He studied painting at the school of fine arts of San Fernando in Madrid, where he was student of Federico de Madrazo and since 1857 further study in Italy, where we find his first picture exhibited in this year and in Florence. It's the dream of Calpurnia, box of classic theme, as it was common in the students of the Italian academies. Gets with her Medal of merit and, the following year, and in Madrid, second medal at the national exhibition. This first phase of his painting is characterized by a soft colorful and some involvement in the figures, as seen in Roman girl. Álvarez Català joined the gathering of Spanish painters who gathered at the Cafe Greco in Rome, he attended Vicente Palmaroli, Casado del Alisal, Mariano Fortuny, Esquivel son or Eduardo Rosales, he had to help economically Palmaroli and Álvarez Català because of his delicate health and its precarious economy.

On his return to Spain, it becomes one of the most award-winning painters, what will happen also in numerous international competitions. 1863 and from 1873, their main occupation was the historical painting, of which he was one of the most award-winning representatives, although perhaps not of the most skilled in the choice of subjects. So are his pictures as the cardinal prison in San Juan, Doña Inés de Castro, picture that contributed to what has been described as "fashion of rot" that resulted from the taste by the effect of certain sector of romanticism and which are the best examples picture that we are discussing and the Conversion of the Duke of Gandia of Moreno CarboneroThe marriage of Paulina Borghese, Isabel la Católica recognizing the remains of his father in the Carttuja of Miraflores (box also known as Isabel la Católica in the cartuja de Burgos), whereby he obtained second medal in the exposition of 1866 or La Chair de Felipe II the El Escorial, which won first medal in the 1890 and gold medal at the Universal of Berlin. Special case is that of the shipment of King Amadeo in Spezzi, one of the few pictures of official character on the short-lived reign of Amadeo de Saboya. His historical painting is characterized by the careful study of clothing and atmosphere, as well as its detailed realism, which leads him to indulge in small details and the painting of the atmosphere, which shows the influence of Velázquez.

It was also Álvarez Català prolific painter folkloric paintings and genre in which we can see the same destacads features: taste for detail, interest in the vesturaio, etc. They are pictures as the acquittal of venial sins, wedding exit, visit of condolences, honeymoon, a Spanish Soiree, the bazaar of charity for a House of foundlings in Spain, mourning in 1824, the Carnival of Venice at the beginning of the 18th century, the stack of the holy water in San Pedro in Rome, etc. His work portraiture especially highlights the excellent portrait of the Regent María Cristina Alfonso XIII child dated in 1898 which today retains the Palacio of the Senate and that it was at the time, and is still, image of the hopes that the State would put on the young King.


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