Biography of Santiago Rebull (1829-1902)

Mexican painter, of Catalan descent, born in 1829 on a boat of English flag that led his parents to Spain the Act of expulsion of the Spaniards in 1827.

In his teens, he/she returned to Mexico, where he/she entered the Academy of the fine arts of San Carlos, in 1846. He/She was a pupil of Pelegrín Clavé, at that time director of the Academy, and had as companions to José Salomé Pina and Felipe Gutiérrez. In 1851, he/she executed the first of his great works, Christ in agony, which was a great success.

His work the death of Abel earned a scholarship in Rome, where he/she received classes in the Academia de San Lucas. Since this country has sent several works that enriched the galleries of the Academy, most with religious themes, such as Moses with his tables of the law and the sacrifice of Isaac, fabrics that after being exhibited in Mexico traveled to New Orleans in 1869, and Philadelphia en1876, to attend both exhibitions.

The picture best known and which has obtained the best criticism is the small canvas that represents, and mostly expressed brilliantly, the death of Marat (1875). His production as a portraitist is extensive. Self-portrait (1853) heads this genre by the character that reveals in the model and by the romantic label that already would not abandon in the exercise of their profession. The Emperor Maximiliano commissioned his portrait and that of the Empress, named it Chamber painter and decorated him with the order of Guadalupe. By order of Maximiliano painted in fresco the exterior walls of the Alcazar of Chapultepec, in 1864. The official portrait, with mantle of ermine, Crown and scepter, was brought to the Castillo de Miramar, where custody is currently. An excellent copy by Joaquín Ramírez, disciple of Rebull, is located in the Museum of history of Chapultepec.

Rebull purist was in charge at the Academy, of which he/she was director from 1860, training artists for forty years as owner of the drawing class, discipline, with its contemporary Ingres, considered "the honesty of the art". Master Pina shared the professional education of artistic personalities of the first order: José M. Velasco, the Monroy, Ramón Sagredo, José Obregón, Luis Coto, Joaquín Ramírez, Daniel Dávila, Leandro Izaguirre and Alfredo Ramos Martínez.

Painter shapes human, particularly the nude and portrait, Rebull cultivated in addition the open landscape and varied Interior Affairs. Samples of his draftsman skills and the fullness of his attributes as artist raise him as one of the most outstanding painters of his time. Attributes of the least valued Rebull, not minor, is the copy of teachers: reproductions executed by the artist's paintings of Rafael, Van Dyck, Velazquez, Ribera, Dolci, etc. He/She died in Mexico, in the capital, in 1902.

His works include, besides the mentioned the death of Marat: corridor of the school the Vizcaínas, sketch of a yeoman of Bolivar and Studio of the painter.


BAYÓN, Damián: The art of Mexico of the colony to the present day. Akal, 1991.

Ramirez ROJAS, Fausto: Art of the 19th century in the city of Mexico. Madrid, 1984.; Wed dedicated to the arts in Mexico.