Biography of Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz (1815-1894)

Painter, draughtsman and lithographer Spanish born on February 9, 1815 in Rome and died in Madrid on June 10, 1894. He was son of the Santander- José de Madrazo y Agudo, who was also a painter of camera, director of the Academy of San Fernando and the Gallery of the King (later of the Prado Museum); and Isabel Küntz and Valentini, daughter of Silesian father and Italian mother. His birth, his family background, their social situation and, above all, his first artistic training, carried out by his father, made it the Spanish painter requested more and more national and international projection of the second third of the 19th century. He was a brother of Pedro, famous writer, critic and author of several of the first catalogues of the Prado Museum; Luis, painter and member of the Academy; and Juan, architect who planned the restoration of the Cathedral of León. Of their high social rank, already at the time of his birth, testifying that at his baptism in San Pedro in Rome, February 12, 1815, was sponsored by Prince Federico of Saxe-Gotha.

The continence of Scipio, Federico de Madrazo.

Federico preserved, including agendas of pocket, letters, and his memoirs published memories of my life on the occasion of the first Centenary of his death in 1994, Madrazo's own writings reflect a lifetime of contacts with the characters most representative political and artistic circles in Spain and abroad. As head of the art Spanish of his time, surrounded by fame and prestige, Madrazo held diverse and numerous official positions of utmost responsibility through which gave decisive impulses for artistic policy of Spain. He was part of the jury of the national exhibition of fine arts on eleven occasions between 1856 and 1887, either as a member, Member, Vice-President or President of the jury. Their almost countless distinctions and charges include the of painter's House of Isabel II, director of the Academy of fine arts and director of the Museo del Prado.

Madrazo cultivated different pictorial genres and also had success as a writer of lithographs, some of them made to the artist magazine, published together with Eugenio de Ochoa and which helped Santiago Masarnau, Valentín Carderera, Carlos Luis de Ribera, Jenaro Pérez Villaamil and his brother Pedro, among others.

Despite being his great ambition, abandoned by him in the forties of the 19th century, history painting were portraits that undoubtedly have provided more artistic fame (and more regular income), not only for his pictorial brilliance, the mix of classicism, romanticism and realism, and the recruitment of social status and the psychological mood of the, but also because of the extremely quick when it comes to them. The fact that they are not rare as portraits which ended in a single session and that some official commissions for people of high social rank were performed in just four sessions, explained that today more than 650 portrait of his hand are known. It was the most effective and most sought-after portraitist of his time, and his works are a visual reflection of society most influential 19th century. She represents royalty, aristocracy, politics and his friendship with the most remarkable painters of the time.

Madrazo pictorial style part of the neo-classicism of his father to subsequently register for the purism of Ingres, whom he met and portrayed in 1833 in Paris (New York, Hispanic Society of America), and Overbeck and the circle of the nazarenes Germans, which contacted in Rome, to receive more later also influences of her son Raimundo Madrazo y Garretaportrayed by him in 1875 (Madrid, Museo del Prado) and his late son-in-law Mariano Fortuny, pictorially immortalized by him in 1867 (Museum National d´Art de Catalunya Barcelona)

The appointment of his father as a painter of Chamber of Fernando VII in November 1816 and individual merit and Professor of colours of the Royal Academy of noble arts of San Fernando in October 1818 were the reasons for the transfer of Federico de Madrazo to Spain. After attending the College of Humanities of Mata and Araujo and enter in 1827 along with Carlos Luis de Ribera at the College of Alberto list, where engaged friendship with Eugenio Ochoa, Espronceda, Ventura de la Vega , and others, in 1826, Madrazo received his first artistic training from his father in kinds of colorful this taught in the Academy of noble arts of San Fernando. In 1829, at the age of fourteen years (and probably with the intervention of his father), he painted his first painting of the resurrection of the Lord (Nuremberg, Uta Roth) composition, which facilitated that in 1830 was granted by the Royal Treasury a pension for six years to study in Rome, pension that would be suspended, and that advantage years later. Upon approval your work the continence of Scipio (Madrid, Museum of the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Fernando) as proof of income, came in 1831 as an academic of merit at the Academy. In 1832 he began to Paint picture Fernando VII (Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, Palacio Real) disease, which after its completion in 1833 was first exposed in the Royal Museum of paintings to be installed later in the Palacio de Vista Alegre. The same year also dating the portrait of his friend Aragonese Solano Valentín Carderera (Huesca, Provincial Archaeological Museum), he would paint in 1846 (Madrid, private collection).

From January to July 1833 he painted three allegories for a ceiling of Vista Alegre, representing the music and harmony, and in July began his first trip to Paris to be appointed by Fernando VII in supernumerary painter August Chamber. After having known and portrayed in Paris to the baron Taylor (1833; Versailles, Musée National du Château de Versailles) and Jean-Auguste - Dominique Ingres (1833; New York; Hispanic Society of America) returned to Madrid in December. The high esteem in which had the old masters testifies copy conducted in 1834 of the portrait of Felipe IV (Madrid, Museo Romantico) Hunter costume.

In January 1835 he left mentioned in the first issue of the weekly magazine the artist (which ceased publication in 1836), and in September he married Luisa Garreta and orchards. In the exhibition that was held at the Royal Academy of San Fernando presented El Gran Capitán composition box covering the field of battle of Cerignola (Madrid, Marquesa de Balboa). 1836, year of the birth of their daughter Luisa, dating the portrait of the 11th Duke of Osuna (Barcelona, private collection). As the pension granted in 1830 to study in Rome not enjoyed at the time of its concession it extended for three, so Madrazo undertook travel to Paris with his wife, his daughter and his brother Pedro in August 1837 to settle there in October. In this year he painted the portrait of his sister Isabel Garreta and Huertas (Madrid, private collection), where there is a replica of the same year at the Goya Museum in Castres in France. The same year also is the portrait of his wife Luisa Garreta and orchards (private collection) which include the marked romantic intimacy due to the influence of Ingres, precious in the face and the abocetamiento in the locker room. He painted in addition to his brother-in-law Paul Ouradou (Madrid, private collection). A year later he painted two portraits of child, of his daughter Luisa de Madrazo Garreta (Vitoria, private collection), and his nephew Carlos Ochoa de Madrazo (Vitoria, private collection).

Protected by the baron Taylor, then Inspector General of fine arts, came in 1838, year in which was born second daughter Rosa, in the French art world, and came to paint commissioned by Luis Felipe of Orleans Godfrey de Bouillon proclaimed King of Jerusalem (Versailles, Musée National du Château de Versailles) to the room of the Crusades of the Palacio de Versailles, and win with your great captain of third-class gold medal at the Paris Salon.

After having presented in March 1839 his Godofredo of Bouillon on Mount Sinai (national patrimony, Seville, Reales Alcázares) at the Paris Salon, which was awarded a gold medal of the second class, left Paris with his wife and two daughters direction Rome, where in 1840, year of the birth of his son Antonio, was a Studio-workshop in the own Palacio of Spain granted.

He met there the German Nazarene painters, Johann Friedrich Overbeck around group, which caused him a strong impression to such an extent that transformed their style towards a more purist treatment, painting in 1841 the three Marys to the grave (national patrimony, Seville, Reales Alcázares), painting considered himself his great Roman work and, at the same time, last of important composition of his career. His son Raymond, who, over time, would also be painter was born in the same year.

The year 1843 was decisive for Madrazo, since its return to Spain the previous year and his appointment of director of painting of the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando in November 1843, with only twenty-eight years of age, marked a turning point in his personal and artistic life that led him to abandon history painting in order to meet countless commissions of portraits that reached him. In 1844, he painted a portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II in 1844 (Madrid, Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando) and sent two portraits to the Paris Salon, where he won a first class medal in 1845. His daughter Isabel was born in August.

The year 1846 it was also a year of great benefit for Madrazo. Apart from the fact that the King consort Francisco de Asís personally acquired pictures of the three Marys before the grave and Godofredo de Bouillon on Mount Sinai, it was named individual of the Royal Academy of noble arts of San Fernando in the kind of academic history painting, and France was awarded the Knight's cross of the order of the Legion of Honor Real. It was also the year of the birth of his daughter Cecilia, who later married the painter Mariano Fortuny, and the year began painting another portrait of Isabella II, Queen of Spain (Madrid, Museo Romantico).

The aristocracy and the bourgeoisie claimed increasingly his work from portraitist; 1847 are the portrait of Leocadia de Zamora Quesada (Madrid, private collection) and María Josefa Corral Suelves, Marquesa de Narros (Madrid, private collection); in 1848 one of the Queen Elizabeth II (Madrid, Museo del Prado); 1849 on the Countess of Teba (Sevilla, Fundación Casa de Alba, Palacio de las Dueñas); 1850 Josefa de Ceriola (Barcelona, private collection), Miguel Salvá Munar (Barcelona, private collection), and also the Odalisque (Madrid, private collection). He was first appointed second Chamber (along with Bernardo López) painter in August 1850, and opened his new post with another portrait of the Queen Elizabeth II (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome, Palazzo di Spagna) painted for the Embassy of Spain to the Holy See, and almost exactly a year more afternoon was appointed second 1st painter's camera. In parallel with the commissions became you increasingly more appointments and honorary positions, which obtained its culmination in July 1860, with the very desired and expected appointment of director of the Royal Museum of painting and sculpture.

In 1851 he portrayed the Countess of Saint Laurent (Barcelona, private collection) and the Doctor Agustín María Obieta (Bilbao, Museum of fine arts), and in 1852, the year his son Ricardo was born Isabel II with the Infanta Isabel (Madrid, headquarters of the army, Palacio de Buenavista).

In 1853 he rented a vivienda-estudio on the street of la Greda (currently the Madrazo Street) and obtained Royal licence three months to travel to Germany to cure an eye condition. This year's is the most famous portrait of Amalia de Llano and Dotres, Countess de Vilches (Madrid, Museo del Prado, Cason of the Buen retiro). A year later passed away his wife after having given birth to a dead child.

In 1855 he exhibited 15 paintings at the Paris Salon, where he got a first class Medal and painted the portrait of the King consort Francisco de Asís de Borbón y Borbón (Madrid, private collection) and the portrait of his daughter Cecilia de Madrazo y Garreta (private collection). This year is also the portrait of Segismundo Moret y Quintana (Madrid, Museo del Prado), and a year later his wife Concepcion Remisa (Madrid, Museo del Prado) and also la Inmaculada Concepción (Madrid, private collection).

Sample of his pride and high self-esteem was unaccepted resigned in 1857 as a second Chamber painter, to the not having been elected his father's successor in the post of director of the Museum of painting and sculpture. As reward was promoted to first painter of the Royal Chamber, and was also appointed Professor of color and composition in the studies of the Academy of fine arts.

Continued distinctions, appointments, awards and positions in his person. In 1858, where he painted the portrait of Mrs. de Becquer (Madrid, Museo Romantico) and his own self-portrait (Madrid, private collection), was appointed academic merit of the Insigne and Pontificia Academia Romana delle Belle Arti di San Luca. In 1859, the year of the death of his father, was appointed corresponding academic of fine arts of the Imperial Institute and officer of the Imperial order of the Honor Legion of France; in 1860, he was decorated with the cross of Commander of the order of Wasa, granted by the King of Sweden and Norway. In May of the same year he came into contact with Mariano Fortuny, to the who portrayed in 1867 (Barcelona, Museo Nacional d´Art de Catalunya), and in July was named, finally, director of the Royal Museum of painting and sculpture.

In 1862 he was appointed academic of fine arts in Milan and individual of the society of artists from Belgium. A trip to Paris in September of 1863 was followed by the appointment of Commander of merit of the Royal order of Santiago from Portugal in November.

In 1865 he was appointed an associate member of the Royal Academy of fine arts of Belgium, and led the process of moving to the Royal Museum of the ceiling of the Hall of the Casino of the Queen of Vicente López. The year 1866 it was especially helpful, since, after the death of Juan Francisco Pacheco, he was President and director of the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando unanimously elected, position he occupied until the end of his days. It was, in addition, named President of the Court of opposition for the Plaza's teacher of elementary studies of the Superior School of painting and sculpture, and in March of this year began to write about schools in painting. He also chaired the Committee to ensure the conservation of buildings and historic monuments, formed part of the Commission to select paintings from the National Museum to the Museum of Barcelona target and painted the portrait of the painter Eduardo Rosales (Madrid, Museo del Prado).

In 1867, Cecilia de Madrazo y Garreta (Bilbao, private collection) painted the portrait of his daughter. This painting, on 28 June, i.e. in a single day, is characterized by the influence exerted by Fortuny and Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta. Playing the piano, Cecilia this represented profile and so sketchy.

As a key figure in the cultural life of Spain, Federico de Madrazo attended the laying of the first stone of the building which will house libraries and museums on April 21, 1866. In may he took possession of his office of director and President of the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando. The great friendship which United him with Mariano Fortuny became even more intense to marry this with her daughter Cecilia on November 27. At the Summit of his career and dealing with the most important cultural offices, his proud spirit, who had taken him in 1857 to resign as a second Chamber painter to the not having been elected successor to his father in the office of the director of the Museum of painting and sculpture, becomes in noble and generous to renounce his bonus as the museum director to contribute to the recovery of the Crown. He was appointed an honorary member of the Academy of fine arts of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and was awarded a medal of the first class of the order of the Crown of Prussia. In 1868 he was appointed Knight of the Grand Cross of Isabel the Catholic and member of the Board of Trustees for the supervision of the works of construction of the building for library and National Museum. He was separated from his position as director of the Museum of painting and sculpture after the revolution of 1868, and in 1869 he was appointed an honorary member of the Imperial Academy and Real de Bellas Artes of Austria.

1870 data portrait of Miss Llera (Barcelona, private collection), which represents a totally unidentified woman, but which is known, through the agendas of pocket of Madrazo, was dead at the time of the completion of the painting. His work at the head of the commissions of monuments in the Academia de San Fernando was constant in 1871.

In 1872 he was elected member of the Advisory Board of public instruction, and was awarded the title of Knight of the Grand Cross of the Royal and distinguished order of Carlos III. In addition, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Civil order of María Victoria in May and he was appointed officer of the Imperial order of the rose of Brazil. In 1873 he was appointed a foreign associate member of the section of painting of the Academy of fine arts of the Imperial Institute of France, and was a member of the Commission chosen to classify the State property. In October, he participated in the Organization of the major posthumous exhibition of Eduardo Rosales, who died on September 13. In this same year, he painted the portrait of the Countess of Munter (Barcelona, private collection), the painter and engraver Perugino Sensi (Madrid, Museo del Prado) and a portrait of which is not yet known for certain if it represents José Martínez Gonzálvez or Paul Gonzalvo (Madrid, Museo Romantico).

In 1874 he married her second marriage with Rosa Guardiola, widow of baron Andilla. It was also the year where he died his son-in-law Mariano Fortuny en Roma, what did that in 1875 Ricardo organized with her son a great auction of pictures of Fortuny en Roma and another of his workshop in Paris. This year are dedicated to their children portraits: Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta (Madrid, Museo del Prado), who in the same year proposed for corresponding academic of the of fine arts of San Fernando; Isabel Madrazo y Garreta (destroyed); Cecilia de Madrazo y Garreta (Bilbao, collection Ricardo de Madrazo); and in 1876 he dedicated to Ricardo de Madrazo y Garreta (Madrid, private collection). In 1877 he was elected Senator of the Kingdom by the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando and was part of the Spanish organizing Committee of the Exposition Universelle, delegating to Raimundo and Martín Rico Assembly and the booking of an entire room, as a posthumous tribute to the work of Fortuny. At the Exposition Universelle of 1878 were exhibited his portraits of María de el Carmen Azlor de Aragón, Countess of Guaqui and 15th Duchess of Villahermosa (1877; Pedrosa/Zaragoza, Duchess of Villahermosa), Perugino Sensi (Madrid, Museo del Prado) and Mariano Fortuny Museum National d´Art de Catalunya (Barcelona), and painted the Countess of Sástago (Madrid, private collection). This year the French Government awarded him the cross of Commander of the national order of the Legion of Honor and his son Raymond the title of gentleman of the same.

In 1879 his bronchial disease and your eye condition is aggravated, but still he attended, as a Senator by the Academy, the opening of the courts. He painted the portrait of his granddaughter María Luisa Fortuny de Madrazo (Madrid, private collection) at the age of 12 years and the portrait of the celebrated musician navarro Juan María Guelbenzu (Zaragoza, private collection), carried out in a single day in 1880.

In 1881 was a member of the jury for the decoration of the Casa de la Panadería in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. This year was offered again the address of the Prado Museum, which agreed after several requirements and which he held for 13 years until his death in 1894.

In 1884 he suffered a renal colic and his daughter Luisa died in August. In 1885 he provided Testament in favor of their children and in December of that same year attended the funeral ceremony of the late Alfonso XII in the Basilica of San Francisco the big.

In 1887 was again a member of the jury of the national exhibition of fine arts, and in 1888 Paris brokered the sale of several pictures of Fortuny. In 1889 he made in four sessions the portrait of Marcellin de Aragón Azlor and Fernández de Córdova, 14th Duke of Villahermosa (Pedrosa/Zaragoza, Duchess of Villahermosa).

In 1891 his kidney condition, worsened though, however, it accepted the new election as Senator by the Academy. In June he was appointed Minister of public instruction. In 1892, before undergoing an operation of lithotripsy in September, formalized in writing the sale of their land, distributing between Cecilia and Ricardo Raimundo children benefits.

In 1893 he was subjected again to a session of lithotripsy, and on October 24, 1893 chaired his last meeting of the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando. In February 1894, he was appointed President of the Organizing Committee of the third centenary of Velázquez. His State of health worsened even more, and on 9 June 1894 two kidney stones, were extracted you without that this operation could save your life. He died the next day in the evening, and was buried, according to his wishes, on June 12 in the Sacramental of San Isidro, near the remains of his first wife and children rose and Antonio. As a tribute and proof of his immense prestige had been installed the previous day in the Rotunda of the Museum the burning chapel with his mortal remains.


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Felix Scheffler