Biography of Julio Fossa Calderón (1874-1946)

Doctor and Chilean painter, born in Valparaiso in 1874 and died in Paris in 1944. Remarkable representative of French realist painting, is considered one of the leading Chilean painters of academic line along with Rafael Correa, Pablo Burchard and Manuel Antonio Caro. His work is characterized by the perfection of the drawing, the use of diffuse lights and tinted colors within a theme dominated by portraits and landscapes.


He received the first lessons in painting in his hometown, in charge of Evaristo Garrido, and in 1898 he moved to Santiago de Chile, where he entered the school of fine arts: this Centre received classes of Pedro Lira, which is considered his master, and Juan Francisco González. In 1906 settled in Paris and there it became known as an artist of universal fame, although he never went on to lose the link with their country of origin, where it returned on numerous occasions on the occasion of competitions and tributes. Between 1930 and 1932 he was director of the Faculty of applied sciences of the University of Santiago and of the school of fine arts at the behest of President Carlos Ibáñez, but had to resign due to the revolution of 1931 that overthrew it. Then returned to Europe to be named official painter of the Belgian Crown: from this period are the portrait of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid. Resided some time in Italy as cultural attaché of the Chilean embassy, and then again Paris with the same charge. In 1937 he received the distinction of Honor with the rank of Knight by the French Government.