Biography of Cosme San Martín (1850-1906)

Chilean painter, born in Valparaiso in 1850 and died in 1906, was director of the Academy of fine arts Chilean and one of the later representatives of the academic style in his country, highlighting the amazing variety of genres that cultivated: portraits, landscapes, interior scenes, historical pictures.

Cosme San Martín entered the Academy of fine arts of Santiago in 1865, time which was directed by Alejandro Ciccarelli, tight diffuser of the neo-classical teaching Italian. There he/she met future painters of the stature of Pedro Lira and Onofre Jarpa, who certainly reached a greater popularity in the Chilean arts than the own San Martín, and began to stand out as a faithful continuation of the line learned of his teachers, which earned him a position as Professor of elementary drawing. Obtained a fellowship with Jesus and María Magdalena picture, he/she could move to Europe (1875) to perfect its formation, staying there ten years. In Paris he/she attended classes in the workshop of the Spanish Juan Antonio González, concurred in competitions and exhibitions, and he/she got a mention in the living room of the society of French artists in 1880 due to one of his most successful works, the rest of the model. On his return to Chile, he/she was appointed director of the Academy instead of the Italian Juan Mochi, a position he/she combined with private lessons in drawing and painting in several centers, including the school of Ornamental drawing, aimed at imparting artistic teachings among the working classes.

Cosme San Martín was an artist who was characterized by represent reality within the rigid canons of neo-classicism, adjusting to the model and looking for first and foremost the precision in the drawing; However, and although within a clearly academic style, his painting showed some features of renewal in the final stage of his career, from his European experience, with works in which brushwork is a greater expressive force (portrait of a child). His predilection for inside, a highly realistic scenes, is reflected in masterful recreations of the family environment, as in reading. Likewise, he/she cultivated the historical genre of patriotic exaltation, growing in popularity throughout the 19th century, and which the artist left several notable examples: guided Prat slaughter by the genius of the homeland, the apotheosis of Prat and the jura of the independence of Chile. In addition to these, other outstanding works are maternity, the white jacket child and child of the blades.