Biography of Pedro Francisco Lira Rencoret (1846-1912)

Chilean painter, born on May 17, 1846 in Santiago and died on April 20, 1912. Considered one of the "four masters of Chilean painting", he/she was mentor to a whole generation of artists, who consider it their spiritual director, who imposed a severe discipline in front of the easel.


He studied humanities at the National Institute, at the end of which went on to the University of Chile, where he/she got his Bachelor's degree in law. Although initially he/she thought practicing law, he/she enrolled in the Academy of painting in Santiago to take classes under the direction of Alessandro Cicarelli. This decision gave a turnaround of his life, decided to surrender to his pictorial vocation, then took a trip to Europe to expand his training, which took him to Paris. During the ten years he/she spent in the capital of the Seine he/she met different styles of painting, such as the Art Déco, Cubism and the preimpresionismo of the Barbizon school, but it was mostly influenced by Delacroix, who took the taste for reflect historical scenes in his paintings, which were provided with a realistic touch that sets apart it from other artists of his time.

On his return to Chile in 1884 he/she participated in the founding of the National Museum of fine arts, under whose auspices was an important dissemination of national painting. He/She was a portraitist consummated, among whose production worth mentioning works as Cain (for which he/she received Honorable mention at the Paris Salon), the sick child, the quarrymen, Prometheus bound and the gardener. Other works of his are Santiago Foundation, Quilpué LLP, the bad new, which shows as a landscape expert. In addition to his work with the brushes it was also a renowned art critic, researcher and writer, as it reflects his biographical dictionary of painters, which saw the light in 1902, and who is now a work of reference for scholars of Chilean painting.