Biography of Pablo Burchard Eggeling (1875-1964)

Pablo Burchard Eggeling.

Architect and Chilean painter born in Santiago on November 4, 1875 and died in the same city on July 13, 1964, figure capital in contemporary Chilean painting, his work showed a renovation that introduced him squarely in the modernity of the 20th century and exerted a great influence on subsequent generations of artists in his country. In 1944 he/she received the national prize of art throughout his artistic career, and in 1955 the University of Chile appointed him academic of fine arts.

Belonging to a family of German immigrants, his father Teodoro Burchard was a prestigious architect, a discipline that Paul, under the paternal influence, seemed aimed in his youth. His first training received it in the Carlos Rudolf school and the National Institute, after which began studies in architecture at the University of Chile. With nearly thirty years he/she entered the Academy of fine arts from the same University, and there received classes, among others, Miguel Campos, Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor and Pedro Lira, the latter considered his main teacher.

In 1903, he/she obtained a post of Professor of art in the secondary school of Talca, which initiated a fruitful and long career as a teacher which led him, after passing through several centres, the school of fine arts of Santiago, which replaced Alberto Valenzuela Llanos at the head of the Chair of landscape. In 1909, he/she obtained his first prize of importance, the second medal in drawing of the official of the Chilean capital, followed in 1915 the first medal in drawing, and the following year the first medal in painting. His first international recognition came in 1929 with the award of the Gold Medal of the Ibero-American exhibition in Seville. He/She also participated in numerous editions of the official Salon of Santiago, one of the most important artistic forums of the Andean country. In 1932 he/she was appointed director of the school of fine arts instead of July Fossa, position in which he/she remained until 1935; He/She also directed the school of applied arts and Sciences during the 1950s. During a long trip through Europe in 1951, he/she returned to find in Madrid with his former master Álvarez de Sotomayor, by then director of the Museo del Prado.

The work of Pablo Burchard is inserted into the change experienced by the pictorial art in late 19th century and early 20th century. Starting from close to Impressionism postulates, he/she came to the definition of a unique style, intimate and full of poetry, but which never ceases to be fully modern in its expressiveness, which seems to arise spontaneously, without studied premeditation, some who knew how to capture better than any other painter of his time. An austere palette, with a predominance of grey and pale tones only occasionally broken by a touch of red or blue, Burchard found sober charm of a scenic corner or the singular beauty of a particular object (a door, a jar, etc), which, not everyday enclose an intense lyricism wisely picked up by his brush. In this line, and although Pedro Lira was his acknowledged master, there are more similarities with Juan Francisco González for the ability both to seek new alternative paths corseted characteristic 19th century academic style and giving the artist a greater margin of freedom, both in choosing the theme as in the formal aspects of composition, but without breaking with the previous pictorial tradition. His most representative works include: autumn, the blue gate, jar of canned, Caleta de Quintero, El Corral or vase with Fox tails.

In addition to the already mentioned, Burchard was awarded the prize of the contest Matte white (1929), the prize of the Carnegie International Exhibition of Pittshuy (United States, 1935), the Medal of silver of the exhibition Latin American Exhibition of Fine an Applied Art of New York (1939), and the prize of Honor in the exhibition held on the occasion of the IV centenary of the Foundation of Santiago (1941). Among his most outstanding disciples Agustín Abarca, José Balmes and Roser Bruwere found.


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VERGARA GREZ, R. The teaching of the master Pablo Burchard at the school of fine arts. Santiago, Annals of the University of Chile, 1986.

Documentary archive Library Museum of fine arts.