Biography of Antonio Muñoz Degrain (1843-1924)

Spanish painter born in Valencia on November 18, 1843 and died in Malaga on October 12, 1924. He began his studies with Rafael Montesinos in the Academy of San Carlos in his hometown against the opinion of his family that destined it to architecture. In 1856, he travels to Rome on its own merits. The harsh conditions of life in the Italian capital and his young age it was forced to return, but shortly afterwards he could make the trip in best conditions thanks to a pension granted by the Diputación Provincial de Valencia. Back to Spain, he manages in 1879 Professor of painting at the school of fine arts of Malaga, which goes to the Madrid in 1898 to replace Carlos de Haes in the Chair of landscape. In 1901, he was appointed director of the same. Earlier, in 1899, it has entered the Academy of fine arts of San Fernando. He was also President of the circle of fine arts of Madrid, as well as Adviser to the Ministry of public instruction. Is he was awarded several decorations, including the cross of Carlos III (granted by the box Isabel "the Catholic" cede their jewels for the enterprise of Columbus) and the Gran Cruz de Isabel la Católica. In 1913, on the occasion of his retirement, bequeathed paintings and furniture, own and other authors, to the museums of Valencia and Malaga.

Independent painter, his work is entered by way of the experimentalism undoing the drawing for the sake of a brushstroke short and fast, which gives to the scenes the appearance of being illuminated by lightning. He participated in numerous national and international exhibitions. Between the first (once between 1862 and 1892) highlight that of 1864, which won medal third class by view of the Valley of la Murta (Alcira); 1866, Medal of the second class by landscape of El Pardo to dissipate the fog; 1871, which again reached the second class medal by prayer; 1881, first class by Othello and Desdemona Medal, 1884, new gold medal by the lovers of Teruel (Prado Museum, Casón del Buen Retiro, withdrawn from display) and 1910, Medal of honor by gleaners of Jericho.

Lovers of large dimensions, as it was usual in the historical theme, is clear the memory of the Venetian painting of the 17TH, mostly refers to the central group. include details as of the cereus fallen on the ground and still smoking, symbol obviously tragic and sudden end of history.

As asserted on its eagerness to work is also applicable to the field of color, that was real enthusiastic, while not always obtained satisfactory results. It is the case of the bridge of the Sultana, views of the Alhambra and many of the works of his last years, particularly the Colossus of Rhodes.

He cultivated the historical genre (Isabel the Catholic yields his jewels for the enterprise of Columbus; Isabel la Católica praying by the company of Columbus; Méndez Núñez wounded aboard the "Numancia" in the battle of Callao, now in the Museo Naval of Madrid), religious (fruit almost the whole of their journey to the Holy Land and which includes part titles like twilight at Magdala, Jordan Ford, caves of the prophets, Jesus in the Tiberias or San Juan Bautista, Jordan) and genre (the surprise painting(, Clown whistling, the Viaticum or prayer), as well as for literary types. To this last aspect (which the painter preferred the historical for allowing him more freedom) respond, in addition to the lovers of Teruel already commented, Desdemona and Othello, couple of pictures that attended the exhibition of 1887 and which should not be confused with the Othello and Desdemona who won medal first class in the 1881, or series of pictures about Don Quixote that adorn the Cervantes room of the National Library of Madrid. He also collaborated in the decoration of the Madrid Church of San Francisco el Grande, for which it conducted an Entombment of Christ, that is, without a doubt, the best of the whole.

However, was the landscape his main occupation with titles as the spring in the Sierra Nevada. View taken from the swamps of del Purche, Callejón de Alcantarilla (Granada), banks of the Tiber (Rome) or echoes of Roncesvalles. To its landscapes using a personal technique, secluded both traditional composition and painting the natural characteristic of impressionism. Thus, he painted directly in the workshop, from memory and without using any sketch. The best example of this technique is shower in Granada (Prado Museum, Casón del Buen Retiro), picture that does not respond to any corner of the city, but in which the Alhambra Tower and the bridge over the river Darro are recognizable.