Biography of Vicente López Portaña (1772-1850)

Spanish painter; He/She was born in Valencia, and died in Madrid. He/She carried out extensive work that was improved with the passing of the years until his own death in a career constantly ascending. He/She managed with ease all the techniques of the time, both oil and cake as the fresco, which include their work in some of the vaults of the Palacio Real de Madrid, especially that of the Salon de Carlos III, former bedroom of the King and official Hall from Fernando VII, López painted for which the institution of the order of Carlos III. The frescoes that decorated the Queen's Casino or the Palacio de Vista Alegre have not reached our days.

During his youth, prior to his coming to Madrid, he/she received numerous commissions from religious painting, thus the birth of San Vicente Ferrer for the Cathedral of his hometown, a San Agustín and a San Rufo to Tortosa. Followed subsequently, cultivating Bliss theme in works commissioned by temples of Madrid (Virgen de los Desamparados) or the Tome of Toledo (doubt of Saint Thomas). In these pictures, as well as the courtly theme, López technique is so perfect that it is outdated for its time and passing over Goya, connects directly with the painting of the German Antón Rafael Mengs, who had been a painter of Carlos III before the Fuendotodos camera. Excellent example of this look back, so consistent, on the other hand with the reign of Fernando VII, is the family of Carlos IV, commissioned by the University of Valenciay after Goya's but much less innovative than this. Let's not forget that López was still in Valencia and, in addition, picture of Goya was to the liking of the Kings for its excessive realism in painting as little graceful family as it was at that time the Spanish. Yet, is this type of paint more clear what has most criticized López showing: an excessive attachment to the technique at the expense of the spontaneity of brushstroke and theme that make some of his sketches are more interesting than the finished pictures.López was also historical, mythological, and themes rather than, as we just saw with the courtesan painting mode of 18th. This facet highlight pictures as the Catholic Kings receiving the Embassy from the King of Fez.Con all, the best and the most abundant of the work of Vicente López are the portraits, which detaca the search for Visual and tactile qualities to the end that, sometimes, the details make losing importance to the face of the. It is the case of portraits as sumptuous as the of the Queen María Cristina de Borbón. For this reason, have been lauded above all those portraits where the robe of the portrayed is sober (thus that of the Marquis de Remisa) or in which medium-bodied format allow to give greater expression to the face (so called doctor of Fernando VII). However, the years will combining taste of painter details with the portrait itself, shown especially brilliantly in the great portrait of the general Narváez, signed just a few days before his death, which is today preserved in the Museum of paintings of the Palacio Real in Madrid. It is worthy of note is also the portrait of Goya, probably the best-known image of the artist from Fuendetodos along with the self-portrait, which is complementary for the finished picture and the certainty with which the strong character of Goya is captured. From copies, we have news of several portraits such as that of the Duke of Bailén and Pedro González Vallejo, both in the Palacio of the Senate.

V. López: Alejandro Mon. Museo del Prado.

V. López: Dª. María Cristina de Borbón. Museo del Prado.

V. López: Portrait of Fernando VII. Museo del Prado.

GFS.