Biography of Pelegrín Clavé (1810-1880)

Spanish painter, born in Barcelona in 1810 and died in the same city in 1880. Member of the catalan group Los Nazarenos, traveled to Rome and then to Mexico, where he/she developed most of his artistic activity.

He studied painting at the Academy of San Jorge in the city of Barcelona. As a pensioner, he/she traveled to Rome and took classes at the Academy of San Lucas in the Italian capital. In 1846 he/she moved to Mexico as Director of painting of the newly reorganized Academy of San Carlos.

Pelegrin key remained in Mexico from 1846 to 1868. Stimulated interest in the art and formed two groups of disciples, the academic style, some of which stood out when they complete or reaffirm their learning in Europe. I admired the German idealistic painting, whose main figure was Overbeck, and by the power of art launched his disciples. The subjects were mainly inspired by the old testament scenes, such as the Ark of Noah and Moses in Raphidin, of Joaquín Ramírez, either, passages from the life of Jesus, as La Sagrada Familia, de Rafael Flores, or the celebrated picture of Ramón Sagredo, Jesus in Emaus.sus disciples Santiago Rebull (1829-1902), and José Salomé Pina (1830-1909) were then studied in Rome, and were teachers who, on his return, continued the classical and idealistic education in the Academy, in the last decades of the century.

Clavé is fast to the classical romance of Ingres. He/She painted history, such as the madness of Isabel of Portugal issues, but his best works were portraits. As Ingres, Clavé idealized figures in faces and hands, but it was Objectivist elsewhere, thus, silks, lace, jewels and accessories are painted with truth and mastery. Altogether his portraits are a vision, if well partial, mid century Mexican society. At the time attempted to revive the mural that Mexican painter Juan Cordero, Clavé powerful rival had begun. This took place, with a group of disciples, the decoration of the dome of the professed (1867), in the capital. The result was strongly considered by the critic Felipe López López, admirer of lamb, and I Clavé, disappointed, he/she left Mexico.

Unfortunately the paintings of the professed perished in a fire in the Church in 1915.Fue Clavé a thorough teacher and a painter of merit that left an important Gallery of portraits of personalities of the time in Mexico. These pictures are preserved in collections both in State collections as individuals.

Of its production, notably madness of Isabel of Portugal, spring, La señorita María Echevarría, Don José Bernardo Couto, steps still life and portrait of a Mexican Lady.


Ramirez ROJAS, Fausto: Art of the 19th century in the city of Mexico. Madrid, 1984.; Wed dedicated to the arts in Mexico.