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Alicia de la Campa Pak CUBAN ARTIST

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Alicia de la Campa Pak(Cuban, born 1966)BiographyA Cuban artist of South Korean descent, is one of the key figures in the Cuban cultural landscape. She began her artistic training at the Elementary School of Fine Arts, later graduating from the San Alejandro Art Academy in Havana, where she is currently a professor of art. She works in a range of media, including painting, drawing, illustrating, and engraving, and is a writer and illustrator for numerous cultural publications, as well as being a member of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.

Her work has been exhibited in major solo and group shows in Cuba, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Chile, France, Brazil, and the United States. De la Campa is a master of dramatic surrealism, using scenes, poses, costumes and Western art-extracted characters depicted in a mythical dimensions. Using her own body as inspiration, de la Campa’s work often deals with eroticism and the woman’s role in Cuban life.


Carmen Herrera,important Cuban artist, Turns 100 Years Old

Carmen Herrera, Who Sold Her First Painting Aged 89, Turns 100 Years Old
Carmen Herrera at work on a painting.
Photo by Jason Schmidt. Image: Courtesy of Lisson Gallery, London.If the life story of Carmen Herrera was written as fiction, many people wouldn't believe it.As Deborah Sontag wrote in a front page story for the New York Times Art & Design section in 2009: "In a word, Ms. Herrera, a nonagenarian homebound painter with arthritis, is hot."The artist had her first sale at the age of 89. In her 90s, her work became part of the permanent collections of MoMA, the Hirshhorn, and Tate Modern. After 60 years of honing and practicing her craft, creating brilliantly-colored and ever more minimal and pure geometric abstractions, Herrera is finally receiving her due in critical, institutional and collecting circles alike (see Imi Knoebel, Marianne Vitale, and Carmen Herrera Among Robust Sales at Armory Show 2014 and Sales Heat Up at Frieze New York).The Cuban-born, Manhattan-based artist marks her first century this May 31. “Life is wonderful and funny," Herrera told W Magazine. “And then you get to be 100."This spring, Alison Klayman directed a brief but fascinating new documentary about Herrera's life and her recent rise to fame in the art world. The film, titled, The 100 Years Picture Show—starring Carmen Herrera, premiered at this year's Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto.Carmen Herrera Blanco y Verde (1959) is featured in the Whitney Museum show "America Is Hard to See." © the artist. Photo: Courtesy Lisson Gallery, London.Herrera's diptych Blanco y Verde (1959) is now on view at the Whitney Museum of American Art's debut exhibition in its new Meatpacking location, titled, "America is Hard to See." Her paintings, if you look at them carefully, can almost seem like cuts in space," curator Dana Miller says in an audio guide for the show.The artist, who had previously studied architecture, has long been fascinated by spatial arrangements. For the upcoming London edition of Frieze this October, the Lisson Gallery in London, which represents her, is planning a solo show of her large-scale paintings at the fair.In a 2010 interview before a previous exhibition at Lisson, Herrera told Hermoine Hoby at the Observer, "When you're known you want to do the same thing again to please people. And, as nobody wanted what I did, I was pleasing myself, and that's the answer."The artnet Price Database lists 15 of her works at auction, the most expensive of which is one sold for $170,500, at a November 2012 auction at Christie's New York.Carmen Herrera Untitled (2013). © The artist.
Photo: Courtesy of Lisson Gallery, London.The artist, who was born in Havana in 1915, moved to the US in 1939 with her husband Jesse Loewenthal, a poet and longtime Stuyvesant High School teacher. After spending a few years in Paris following World War II—where Herrera told the Times she found her own "pictorial vocabulary," and exhibited alongside artists including Josef Albers, Jean Arp, Sonia Delauney, and others, the couple returned to New York in 1954. For decades, Herrera has occupied the same loft, which also serves as her studio, near Union Square.Over the years Herrera has been friends with artists ranging from Cuban star Wifredo Lam, to Yves Klein, and Barnett Newman (see New Collectors Fuel Demand and Double Estimates at Latin American Art Sales and Frida Kahlo Export Market Booming Despite Export Restrictions). She also knew Jean Genet, whom she calls "a sweet man."A still from the documentary The 100 Years Picture Show shows Herrera in Paris (circa late 1940s) .
Photo: Alison Klayman.The documentary includes intimate scenes of Herrera and her assistants at work, conversations with Herrera and her close friends about her life and work, and talks with art experts including Walker Art Center director Olga Viso and curator Dana Miller."She gets up every morning and makes art. It's a compulsion. It's what sustains her," Miller says.Herrera, who is wry and charming, quotes an old saying: "If you wait for the bus, it will come. I waited 98 years for the bus to come."She adds with a laugh: "Nobody cared what I did…It was a hard thing to get people to accept it. Now they've accepted it. That's okay with me."Carmen Herrera.
Photo: Courtesy Alison Klayman.Source: Artnet news
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Cuban Republican Period

The End of the Cuba war of independence (1895-1898) brought about the island's transition from colony to republic. Needless to say, the founding of the new nation had a profound effect on the way art studies and art expression evolved over the following years. The new republic had, among its many challengers, the need to create a distinctive national identity. This entailed establishing symbols meant to foster feeling of patriotism and national pride as well as founding educational and cultural institution that would not only support the proliferation of arts and literature, but that would also contribute to the idea of unique and intrinsically Cuban society.
Many Cuban artists surpassed their roles as visual interpreters and pedagogues. They went on to play a significant role in the development of both educational and cultural institutions. One of the most important institution founded during the republican period was national academy of Art and Letters. Created in 1910, its extensive mission was to educate and publish works that would enhance knowledge about the theory and history of fine art as well as compile artistic and literary works, promote cultural events, and contribute to the restoration and conservation of public monuments , various Republican period artists such as, Miguel Arias Bordoy, Esteban Valderrama, Aurelio Melero, y Fernandez de Castro, were members of the academy's board of trustees.
San Alejandro Academy Common Room
One of the most notable individual contributor to art culture in Cuba was Leopoldo Romañach who is affectionately regarded as the "Father of Cuban Painting". He taught at the academy for more than fifty years as chair of the colorist department and influenced generations of artists. His non-dogmatic teachings gave him a major supportive role in the artistic renovation that evolved into the Cuban avant -garde movement. Avant-garde artist Amelia Pelaez said of him " Sufficiently generous and good will, he did not stand in the way of his best student's natural inclination."


Great Masters of Cuban Landscape Paintings

Esteban Sebastian Chartrand Dubois (1840-1884)
Chartrand develops his scene which exhibits the romantic style that is prevalent in his paintings. The rural scenes produces feelings of peace. Chartrand employs the light as a romantic means to produce emotion in his conception of the landscape. He also achieves, like no other, the rendering of nature as a state of mind, and with lyrical and poetic undertones, relates a pleasant journey during which the participants enjoy this magnificent place. Esteban Chartrand studied painting and drawing in the United States and France as did his two brothers Philipe Chartrand and Augusto Chartrand . He was the youngest of all three brothers. In France, he studied with painter Theodore Rousseau(1812-1867) and developed a specialty in painting landscapes in the open air both during the sunset hours and at dawn. His works were influenced by a landscape painting style rooted in French romanticism and established by the Barbizon school,. They were also influenced by landscape painting movement developed in the United States by the Hudson River School. Esteban Chartrand conceived his work with idealism and with certain sentimental and passionate undertones. His painting contain dramatic characteristics that are apparent in his enchanced fronds and his poetic use of light. In the 1870 , His painting were exhibited in New York . In 1881 He presented six landscapes at the Matanzas Universal Exposition that were widely complemented by critics.
Philippe Chartrand Dubois (1825-1889)
Philippe Chartrand,Cuban (1825- 1889)
Year: Circa 1800
Medium: Oil on Wood
Size: 10 x 13 in (Framed 16 ½ x 19 ½ in)
. www.liveauctioneers.com
The figures seen disproportionate in relation to their surrounding , perhaps because the artist's purpose is to magnify the landscape. His works,exhibit influences from the French Barbizon School. The landscapes paintings of all three brothers bear similarities that can be attributed to their common educational backgrounds and collective artistic influences. they shared a mutual fascination for depicting the Ariadne region. Hence, their paintings, besides exhibiting great artistic distinctiveness, are also a unique historical portrayal of the region, given that Ariadne perished in the fire that frequently ravaged the sugarcane fields during Cuba's independence wars.
Augusto Chartrand Dubois (1828-1899)
The artist employs in his work a romantic style to portray a scene. Although the painting depicts a familiar panorama, Chartrand's composition is rendered idealistically, given that he executed the color scheme almost perfectly. Augusto Chartrand was born in Charleston, North Caroline while his parents were visiting relatives in the United States. He studied painting and drawing in the United States and France, as did his two brothers Philippe and Esteban Chartrand . His painting exhibit influences from the French Barbizon School and from the United States Hudson River School artistic movement. He lived in the Matanzas province at the Chartrand family residence in the Ariadne sugar mill, where distinguished foreigners often visited. One such notable visit occurred in 1853, when United States Vise President William Rufus King (1786-1853) arrived at Ariadne in the hopes that warmer climate would improve his tuberculosis. King worsened and was unable to attend his official inauguration. This prompted the United States Congress to adopt a resolution allowing him to take the oath of office at Ariadne on March 24, 1853, King became the only United States executive branch elected official in history to take his oath of office on foreing soil. He subsequently died in Selma, Alabama on April 19.
Valentin Sanz Carta (1849-1898)
In his work depicts the typical light of the Cuban countryside with exceptional clarity. He produces a fluorescent splendor that reflects on the texture of each plant depicted. Using a realistic style derived from painting in the open air , the artist was inspired by this solitary, narrow turn in a Cuban countryside river. He succeeded in creating a peaceful scene in which the foliage reflects on still water. The lush green leaves of the plants above the pool appear brighter and more prominent as they also absorb the glistening blue tones of the bright sky. this resulted in a balanced work that highlights the awe-inspiring beauty of Cuban landscape. Valentin Sanz Carta was born Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, in 1849, and arrived in Cuba in 1882.He had already studied in Tenerife, Cadiz, and at the San Francisco Academy in Madrid where he had been a disciple of Carlos Haes (1829-1898) and Federico Madrazo . In 1886, the San Alejandro Academy held a competition to select the chair of the Landscape and Perspective Department. Sanz Carta prevailed over five, older and more experienced contestants. Among them were renown Landscape artists. Sanz Carta took over as chair of the department in 1887 and defiantly protested when the Academy's Director Miguel Melero Rodriguez denied him the authorization to conduct classes outside the school. After an arduos debate, he managed to establish classes that enabled students to draw en plein air. The brilliance of Sanz Carta can be appreciated in his work. However, his contribution to his students as a landscape painting professor enhanced his significance , making him one of the most important Cuban landscape painters of the late nineteenth century.
Jose Joaquin Tejada Revilla (1867-1943)
Jose Joaquin Tejada,Cuban(1867–1934)
Year:Circa 1800
Medium: Oil on Wood
Size: 10 ½ x 8 ½ in (Framed 16 3/8 x 14 ¼ in). www.liveauctioneers.com
In his works portrays a typical countryside scene from the Cuban countryside using soft, subtle tones. The artist bestowed great attention to detail while executing his works , whose focal point is a bohio, a typical and quite recognizable Cuban rural dwelling. Tejada stayed true to his academic principles in his use of the bohío as a formal element. The colors employed by the artist in his work such as the blue he used for depicting the sky, the soft grey of the mountains, and the bright green ,all point to Cuban countryside landscape, Tejada achieved great balance in the composition rendering a realistic interpretation of the foliage by the use of subtle tones.The clearly delineated winding path makes its toward the bohío. Tejada served for many years as a professor and as director of Santiago de Cuba Academy of Fine Arts. The academy renamed in his honor in 1945, remains as the Jose Tejada Academy of Fine Arts. Tejada influenced many artists from the province of Oriente who benefited from his excellent instruction and artistic experience. He was a great contributor to the island cultural legacy.
Antonio Rodriguez Morey (1872-1967)
Antonio Rodríguez Morey, Cuban (1874 – 1967)
Year: Circa 1900
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 16 x 19 in (Framed 25 1/8 x 28 ½ in). www.liveauctioneers.com
In Yumury Valley, Antonio Rodriguez Morey demonstrate the mastery he acquired from painting by directly observing the landscape, and by making use of various greens, manages to create a unique interpretation of this spectacular Cuban valley. Rolling pastures, royal palms, and small forest enrich the depth and iridescent created by the shades. The artist also vividly captured the shadows that appear over the valley. The Yumuri Valley is know as one of the most spectaculars valleys in Cuba and for centuries, it has been a source of inspiration for many artists. Bathed by the Yumuri and Bacunayagua rivers, and covering an area amounting to approximately 10 000 hectares, the Valley is hidden from sight by the northern mountains of the Matanzas province in Cuba. Rodriguez Morey was one of the first artists to express the true scene of the Cuban Landscapes. After studding abroad, he returned to Cuba in 1905, and began an exceptional career as a renowned landscape artist. His paintings always exhibited the influences he acquired from studying the European landscape artists. The great critic and Cuban writer Jorge Mañach referring to Morey said:" He often portrays the intense and splendid vision of our fields and it is admirable how he has been able to surprise in his best canvases, the dense, exhausting, and lush exuberance of the palm leaf and the tropical valley". Rodriguez Morey's contribution to Cuban visual arts is truly extraordinary, since he also helped to educate an entire generation of artists that benefited from his mastery and professional expertise as a landscape artist.
source: "Great Master of Cuban Art" book


Cuban Artists ( Costumbrism and Rural Life)

Victor Patricio Landaluze (1830-1889)
Víctor Patricio de Landaluze (1830 – 1889)
Year:Circa 1800
Medium:Oil on Board
14 x 10 5/8 in (Framed 20 3/8 x 17 3/8 in) www.liveauctioneers.com
He was born in Bilbao,Spain and arrived in Cuba circa 1849 on military assignment. In 1852,he become the assistant to Captain General Francisco de Lersundi. However, his artistic reputation preceded him and he became the sought-after portraits of the Havana aristocracy. Landaluze illustrated several books including Cubans Illustrating Themselves (1852), The Royal Album (1855), a compilation of all of the provincial coats of arms of the Kingdom territories,dedicated to the Queen of Spain, and Types and custom from the Island of Cuba (1881). Loyal to his anti-separatist views , he attempted to ridicule the emergent Creole nationalist class by using parodies such as the famous Creole caricature,Liborio, through which he established the choteo (mocking) as an instrument of expression. Thus,unintentionally, he established the roots of political satire in Cuba national art, becoming the most renowned Cuban everyday life painter of the nineteenth century.
Federico Sulroca Spencer (1860-1931
The artist used loose brush strokes and vivid, clean tonalities portraying the Cuban countryside with a certain sense of bright optimism. The artist does not reveal the farmer's face . Instead , employs a style reminiscent to that of French painter Jean Francois Millet , who also omitted the faces of the farmers that he portrayed carrying out daily tasks. The artist use a similar technique to ennoble the work of the laborers. His Painting "El Guajiro" became a symbol of Cuban identity and a resource used to express the nationalist feeling that emerged after 1902 with the establishment of the new Republic. He contributed as the Academy professor to the development of various Cuban artist such as Wifredo Lam , and influenced these artist with his unique and multifaceted style.
Eduardo Morales (1869-1938)
Eduardo Morales, Cuban (1869 - 1938)
Year:Circa 1900
Medium:Oil on Canvas
Size: 10 x 11 ½ in (Framed 15 ½ x 17 ½ in). www.liveauctioneers.comThe artist employs in his painting great attention to detail, however, he also shifts away from using strict academic principles to exhibit a very individual use of perspective. Eduardo Morales studied at the San Alejandro Academy, and at the San Fernando Academy in Madrid. When he returned to Cuba, he joined the independence Liberation Army where he developed a close friendship with artist Armando Garcia Menocal. During the Cuban War of Independence (1895-1896), Morales reached the rank of Coronel and fought alongside General Antonio Maceo (1845-1896). His painting provide important historical documentation since they reflect a typical and realistic view of the Cuban landscape and of everyday in the countryside .
Manuel Vega Lopez (1892-1954)
During the years of the Cuban Republic (1902-1958), the construction of both public and private buildings caused a rise in the demand for decorative paintings to enhance their interior decor.Manuel Vega developed his talents in areas such as portraits and everyday life paintings. Vega began his studies in San Alejandro in 1908. He was a student of Leopoldo Romañach and the high level of execution exhibited in many of his large format paintings show the influence of his teacher, in 1912, he moved to Paris, where he lived until the beginning of the World War I. He then traveled to Italy with the scholarship awarded by the Havana City Hall. He returned to Cuba in 1919 and, he joined to the Academy , where he also served as director between 1935-1939, carrying out important and long lasting educational policies.
Armando Garcia Menocal (1863-1942)
In 1880, he was sent by his parents to Spain , where he amplified his mastery of art under the noted Valencian painter , Francisco Jover Casanova, in whose atelier he was associate with ilustrious figures of Spanish art and letters.After ten years absence he returned to Cuban in 1890 with a wealth of experience and knowledge, where he devoted himself to the interpretation of the Cuban landscape .An illustrious lady, Rosalia Abreu , commissioned him to decorate her mansion in Palatino, "Las Delicias", for which he executed several mythological panels and paintings of the invasion, among the latter, one of the Battle of Coliseo, of which he was a personal witness. In 1906 he created the canvas , "The Death of Maceo", which is hung on the stairway of the Havana City Hall building, for which he was paid $5000. This painting was sent to the San Francisco Exposition in 1915, where it was awarded a Gold Medal.In 1918 , by order of his cousin, Mario G. Menocal, president of Cuban Republic , he decorated the presidential palace , for which he conceived the execution of the painting of the painting of " The Battle and Capture of Guaimaro". In executing these work there collaborated with him his fellow-professors from "San Alejandro Academy" , Rodriguez Morey , Valerrama, and Mariano Miguel, as well as his nephew and pupil , Augusto G. Menocal .He practiced with brilliant success in various field of the art of painting,his canvas in civic and government building, as well as his extensive freestanding works are renowned. They are included among Cuba's cultural treasures , as are his portraits,landscape and historical paintings.
Antonio Rodriguez Morey (1872-1967)
Antonio Rodríguez Morey, Cuban (1874 – 1967)
Year: Circa 1900
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 16 x 19 in (Framed 25 1/8 x 28 ½ in).www.liveauctioneers.com

Using a style clearly influenced by European romanticism, the artist developed a scene that masterfully transmits the peacefulness that characterizes the island's natural environment. He was Director of The Museum National of Cuba . In 1895 he fixed his resident in Rome, entering the Free School of Fine Arts and working in the ateliers of Spanish painters Jose Gallegos and Enrique Serra, and in that Italian artist Petit and Corrodi , whom he aided in their work, sharing their artistic labors with the teaching, in the position of professor of drawing and painting of the institute for young ladies of the Damas del Sacro Cuoro of Rome.Antonio Rodriguez returned to Cuba in 1905,the artist encountered a new nation on its way to forging its national identity, an ethos he embraced by masterfully depicting a truly classic Cuban landscape . With distinct style , he also managed to capture, for the same time the shades of green that characterized the island's countryside. His painting has been exhibited in the most important Cities of Europe and America.
Enrique Garcia Cabrera (1893-1949)

He emphasized element in his work that bring to mind a romantic historical scene with touches of the decorative art deco style that had become increasingly popular in Cuba during the 1940. In his classic decorative tradition, Garcia Cabrera distinguishes himself as an artist who prefers to employ in his work elegantly dressed figures reminiscent of Parisian royal court members from past centuries. The figures dance or rest happily. The.The artist includes classical architectural elements that contribute to the idyllic ambiance. Decorative painting is characterized by the rendering of only that which appear as truly beautiful and excludes every thing that is impassive. The palette of decorative painting is therefore free to include brilliant colors and radiant light that is appropriate of melodramatic setting. Garcia Cabrera produced works based on historical, musical, and decorative themes. His decorative art works were usually rendered in large format such as "Celebration of 1850",commissioned for the Ambassador's Salon at the Cuban Presidential Palace .
Augusto G Menocal Y Cordova (1899-1973)
Augusto Menocal,Cuban (1899-1974)
Year: Circa 1900
Medium: Oil on Board
Size: 12 ¾ x 8 ½ in (Framed 21 x 15 ¾ in)www.liveauctioneers.com
Artist of great quality, painter of individual style. In his work the artist details the architecture of the courtyard realistically rendering the roofs and columns . He graduated as an architect from the University of Havana and studied at the San Alejandro Academy ,where was professor between 1920-1926 . A brilliant artist, he created large-sized paintings with historical themes. While he was still a young man, he worked with his uncle, painter Armando Garcia Menocal on the design of the Cuban Presidential Palace. Years later, he created "Columbus Disembarks " in 1943, for the Palace's interior.
Source: Grandes Maestros and La pintura y la Escultura cubana books


Cuban Artists (Portraits)

Guillaume Francois Colson (1785-1850)
Was born in Paris and arrived in Cuba in 1830.He had been a disciple of Jacques Louis David and had acquired a solid reputation as a painter of large historical compositions. He was considered the most renowned painter have lived in Cuba during the first half of the nineteenth century , he served as director of San Alejandro Academy between 1836-1843. His monumental work , "Entry of General Bonaparte in Alexandria" on July 3,1798 is on exhibit at the Musée National du Château.
Miguel Melero Rodriguez (1836-1907)
The first Cuban director of the San Alejandro Academy (1898-1907). Art critics, such as : Guy Perez Cisneros (1915-1953), credited Melero with the introduction of European academic art principles at the Academy, because he promoted the combined use of neoclassic, romantic,historical , and mythological themes in artistic composition, His portraits were realists, given his ability to capture his subjects with amazing precision. The artist was commissioned to undertake the portraits of high colonial officials.One of his most historically significant policies was that during his tenure, the Academy accepted the first woman into their student body . Melero's position as a guiding force over an entire generation of Cuban artist and his educational efforts as director of the Academy established him as an extremely influential artist in the historical development of Cuban Art.
Guillermo Collazo Tejada (1850-1896)
His paintings are an interpretation of the elegant life of the Cuban aristocracy at the end of the nineteenth century and it was affluent setting that his creator, Guillermo Collazo was raised. The sea is a recurring theme in collazo's paintings, suggesting that during his exile in New York, the artist missed his home. The second son in a family of eight, Collazo developed a great ability for drawing at a young age. It was also during his youth that his family began to actively participated in the independence struggle and it was to save him from political persecution that his parents decided to send him to New York City in 1868. Collazo resided at the Bowery and was employed for three years at the portraiture studio of artist, Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896). Around 1880, he met Cuban independence leader Jose Marti(1853-1895), who wrote favorable reviews about Collazo's works. By this time, he had already established himself in his own studio, and had also become the vogue portraitist of the New York aristocracy. In 1883, He returned to Cuba, where he developed pictorial maturity, and created his most notables works. Among these,was La Siesta(1885), which is part of the National Museum of Fine Arts Collection in Havana . In 1888 he traveled to France and established a studio in Paris. The studio became a meeting place for the Cuban exile community. In Paris, he collaborate with Parisian publications who sympathized with the Cuban independence movement. Collazo is one of the most important Cuban artist of the Colonial era.
Leopoldo Romañach Guillen (1862-1951)
Romañach is respectfully regarded as The Father of Cuban Painting since he mentored a great number of artists while he directed the colorist department at the San Alejandro Academy. He also influenced the artists who undertook the art renovation movement known as the Cuban avant-garde .He was born in Sierra Morena , a small village of the province of Las Villas , Cuba. His first contact with the world of Fine Arts took place in the city of Barcelona during his student days , when he was taken by his school Director to visit an exposition of the celebrated Catalonia's artist FortunyHis monumental painting Lady of 1850 represents a hallmark in Romañach's works since it blends his interest in both, landscapes and portraits. influenced by color use of the French impressionists , this work is the benchmark of the new era for the artist.
Aurelio Meleros (1870-1929)
Entered the San Alejandro Academy at the early age of eight. He studied architecture, but abandoned those studies in favor of developing his painting skill. In addition to becoming a prestigious portraitist , he was regarded as an outstanding landscape painter. Art critics welcome his landscape , because of the quality of their lines and his use of color stains. In 1916, along with Federico Edelma y Pinto and other artists, he founded the Circle of Fine Arts and help to organize the First Annual Fine Art Salon in Havana. Melero was an illustrator at the El Figaro magazine. He also helped to found the Village Drawing and Painting Academy in 1906. Aurelio Melero enriched the Cuban portraits genre and He also promoted and contributed to increasing the popularity of visual arts in Cuba.


History of the Cuban National Museum

During the colonial period there existed no public places to elevate the culture of the people, but at the birth of the Republic , the development of the old libraries and new museum increased slowly in the principal provinces.
In Havana, a group of intellectuals presided over by the architect, Emilio Heredia y Mora, succeeded in interesting Dr. Mario Garcia Kohly, Secretary of the Public Instruction and Fine Art, when Major General Jose Miguel Gomez was president, in creating The National Museum . The Decree of Feb.23,1913 established its formation, and on April 28 of the same year it was inaugurated in the old Fronton building on Concordia St. under the direction of the same Heredia, who succeeded in obtaining from many patriots and distinguished families varied objects of historic character and some works of art.
In 1915 it was moved to the beautiful building to the Quinta de Toca on Carlos III Drive, but being without official protection had to be closed until May 20,1919, when it was opened anew to the Republic by Dr Francisco Dominguez Roldan , Secretary of the Public Instruction during the presidency of General Menocal.
When the Quinta de Toca was sold in 1923, again the public was deprived of its exhibition, and it was moved to present domicile at 108 Aguiar St., where it was opened to the public on Feb, 6, 1924, then it was moved with its contents to current place near Paseo del Prado,a new and beautiful building constructed especially for historic and artistic purposes. When this occurred was an important step taken for the Nation,with desires to live in the culture giving prime importance to such public establishments, on account of their popular character and on account of the democratic right of the people to know the artistic and historic progresses of their own country.
Its first Director and founder was the architect Emilio Heredia, who was able to obtain and preserve numerous objects of art, some donated by fellow citizens, others purchased by the state.
The National Museum, today, The National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana has preserved in the artistic section, originals of paintings and sculptures of our recent past as well as of contemporary times and certain foreign originals.
Source: Cuban Magazine


Juan Bautista Vermay ,French (1784-1833)

Born in Tournay, France, on October 15, 1784, painter pupil of the classic David, who also suffered exile because of the defeat of Napoleon, were forced to leave France and chose as his second home to Cuba Vermay soon was associated with the best leading element of the country, He made several paintings and I think initialization School "San Alejandro" of which he was its first director. Despite his status as a foreigner, sympathized with the Cuban revolutionary sentiment. He became pained by the spirit that prevailed of absolutism of European kings and it was natural for him to combated it . So it is not surprising friendship with the Cuban poet Jose Maria Heredia, the first exiled for the revolutionary struggles of Cuba By order of the Captain General Vives, Vermay painted three historical canvases for the Templete. in the first is represented the Mass celebrated by Bishop Espada in commemoration of the first mass celebrated in Cuba by Father de Las Casas, under the big ceiba, found by Colon. When Vermay painted the canvas the ceiba no longer existed, since one of the proud Captain General of the colony, Cagigal de la Vega, in 1753 ordered it cut down. The English government, to demonstrate their love for the past that has much merit, cut part of the trunk and carried it to be showed at the Museum of London. The mural painted by Vermay has a hundred portraits of the most famous characters of the time: Bishop Espada, appear with the Captain General Vives, Los Condes de Fernadilla, Los Cañongo, O'Reilly, O'Gavan have, Montalvo, The towers and Cardenas, among others. The City Council appears in full,and Vermay himself, crayon in hand taking notes for the painting. In the group of women is the artist's wife, Madame Louise Lon Parceval.
The second painting represents the first Mass of the founding of the city of Havana, under the famous ceiba , Mass in wich Father Las Casas officiated, accompanied by his followers and by the spanish warriors of that epoch. Vermay had been permanently installed in Cuba, passionate and warm earth and in it He left his succession. The artist died on March 30, 1833.


Augusto G. Menocal y Cordova

Prestigious artist; style painter, portraitist was a brilliant professor of the School of Fine Arts, San Alejandro
Born March 13, 1899 in La Havana, descendant of illustrious patriots, began his studies at a religious school La Salle, then studied painting at the School of Arts San Alejandro where He graduated from art teacher and painting.
Among his most important works they are: The Amazon, 1920 An Outdoor Lesson, 1921; I do not want to go to Heaven (Torment of Hatuey); Moonlight ; The ruins of the Hospital and Church of Paula; Cuban national heroes; Landing of Columbus, located in the Presidential Palace in Havana.
Menocal won the first prize of the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1920.
Source : "La Pintura y la Escultura en Cuba"book


Cuban landscape painters

Eduardo Morales
Was born in Havana, Cuba in 1862. A considerable part of the Eduardo Morales’ work is composed by landscapes of the Cuban countrysides. These artworks call the attention for the exquisite way of tacking onto the canvases meticulous details that talk by themselves of his mastery of drawing. The carriages are a distinctive seal of his work, which he reproduced with sharp vision.
He engaged in formal study at the San Alejandro Academy, which he interrupted in order to participate in the struggle for the Cuban independence. Once the war was over, he became a member of the National Police Force, and painted during his hours of leisure. Later, upon retirement, he devoted himself to capturing the charm of the Cuban landscape. His work was included in the historical exhibit Three Hundred Years of Art in Cuba, on which occasion his piece Volanta (Cuban Carriage) was exhibited. His 1912 painting Carretas (Carts) was shown at the exhibit Pinturas Españolas y Cubanas del Siglo XIX (Cuban and Spanish Paintings of the 19th Century) in Salamanca, Spain (1999).
Gonzalo Escalante Díaz

Was born on January 9, 1865 in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, and died on August 28, 1939, in Havana, Cuba. He lived the best years of his prolific life in the city of Guantanamo, where he quickly linked the cultural movement.Although his career was photography, Escalante was given the task of organizing a charanga with some of the old instruments of Simancas Regiment Band of the Spanish army; thus, the retreats that were made in the José Martí Park were restored. Escalante studied painting in Mexico City during 1880 to 1884 and then traveled to Madrid, Spain, where he continued to study painting from 1884 to 1888 at the Academy San Fernando. In 1888 he exhibited artworks at the Exposition Universal de Barcelona and shortly afterwards, in 1890, he moved to Cuba and established residency in the city of Guantánamo. There in the Oriente province of the Island he intensified his artistic endeavors, and from 1918 to 1920 he was totally dedicated to painting. His preferred subject matters were landscapes, marinas and the occasional portrait. With his family, he moved to Havana, where he ended his life working as a photographer and artist, becoming one of the most remarkable landscape of Cuba.
Juan Gil Garcia
Juan Gil García born in Madrid, Spain in 1876, died in 1932, Habana, Cuba. He moved to Cuba near the end of the 19th century. In the Island he developed, on his canvases, the theme of the national landscape, combined with the fruits and flowers of the country. His painting was the first in Cuba in giving great relevance to the local fruits, expressing, through their opulent and tasty forms, the sensuality and fertility of his adoptive homeland. The Magazine Bohemia, in 1917, dedicated seven front pages to reproduce his artworks Cocos (Coconuts), Anones, Mangos (Mangoes), Zapotes, Naranjas (Oranges), Plátanos (Bananas) and Mameyes. In 1916 and 1917, he exhibited at the Fine Arts Salon, in Havana. It wasn’t until May of 1971 that he was granted the first personal exhibit at the Museo de Arte Colonial (Colonial Art Museum), in Havana.


Cuban Painting History

Cuban academic painting is characterized, since its inception, by backed of neoclassical canons of French and Italian school. This condition determined during the nineteenth and early twentieth century artistic guidance of Cuban painting. Art as a way to represent the sublime and uplifting will determine not only the subject but also, of course, the form of representation of this theme. In other words, beauty will not only physically by the perfection of form, but the matter to be addressed in the paint will have a fundamental weight when designing the paintings. It is ultimately the application of Academy Aristotelian concept of beauty. Hence, the historical theme and allegory by the landscape and portrait, prevail in the landscape of the academy. For the landscape, the idyllic. In the portrait, the ideal. Of course, within the body of exponents that will paint his future there will be variations, without openly breaking with established codes, they make concessions to other ways to make themselves nineteenth. Century as in the case of romanticism and realism. The latter is almost a rarity in the context of Cuban painting of the period. The Vasco painter, based in Cuba since 1850, Victor Patricio de Landaluce, is a major character. Just two years in Cuba makes the book illustrated by him and José Robles, painted by Cubans themselves.But this work despite its title does not play in his illustrations of a black image that was part of our population. They will have to wait several years for the same painter offered his monumental book types and customs, published in 1881 by Miguel de Villa in Havana. It appears his last drawings to fototipia by Taveira. In his paintings and engravings that makes for the serial press as "El Moro Muza" and other shows characters that were part of the so-called "brown and dark”, slaves or freedmen time its normal work in the city, as carriages pullers, hand servants, street vendors, artisans ... and in the field, as the sower and cane cutter machines in the mill, coffee plantations and other agricultural work. Landaluce is the genre painter par excellence; his pupil trained for 30 years in Cuban soil, specifically Guanabacoa, set everything on the canvas moving in its environment. The painter Victor Patricio de Landaluce has left the legacy of the Festival of the Kings, reflected in his paintings with great pictorial agility: rich document for the reconstruction of the lives of slaves and free man and their "Iremes" which fascinated foreigners visited the island. Can be identified in his paintings the costumes worn by the different ethnic groups, their drums, their religious attributes.


Abstract art and its influence in Cuba

Abstract and Concrete Art assume the primacy of logical thought process over the appearance of the visual image they share they reflect the artist's interpretation of reality The fifties universally represented the domain of abstraction in the most important artistic centers in the US and Europe since after World War II many painters emigrated to the United States where this movement emerged from abstract painting. Cuban artists were not the exception. Abstract movement in Cuba took boom in the 50s, which caused great impact with painters like: Sandu Darie, Guido Llinas, Antonio Vidal, Fayad Jamis Rene Avila, Jose Ignacio Bermudez, Hugo Consuegra, Viredo Espinosa, Cervando Cabrera, Mario Carreño Carmen Herrera, Mariano Rodriguez. In Cuba the influence of American abstract artists in the national movement known. Among the most prominent trends are informalist abstraction and concrete. The most prominent figures of this current abstract joined the group Los Once, as they were called by the initial number of participants, and in the Concrete...
From this boom took abstract art in Cuba a group that was called Pintores Concretos formed in 1958 by Pedro Alvarez Carmelo Lopez, Wifredo Arrcay Ochandarena, Zechariah Corratgé Salvador Ferrera, Sandú Darié, Pedro Luis Dario Martinez, Pedro of Oráa, Rafael Soriano López, José Angel Rosabal Fajardo.Sus architectural paintings which showed more defined contours and rigid .The group exhibitions held in 1959 "10 Concrete Painters" Light Color Art Gallery, Havana; in 1961, the exhibition "" A "/ Painting Concrete" versions of the letter "A", Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana. From 1960 there was a decline of abstract painting in Cuba and in the year 1961 was dissolved the Pintores Concretos group which contributed to the decline in the 70 and 80 of the exhibition samples of abstract art. Back in the 90s, it begins to feel a rebirth of this art in young painters who have been representing the abstract art in his works until today.
José Maria Mijares Fernandez. Born in 1921 in Havana, died in Miami, Fl. In 1942 is admitted at San Alejandro´s Academy of Fine Arts, Havana. After finishing his academic studies, and with a solid professional formation, his instinct led him to search for more contemporary artistic information sources, finding them at United States and Mexico.In 1947 exposed his works for the first time in Cuba, and the Lyceum Lawn Tennis Club provided the artist a space, for the display of an interesting gouache collection. Later on, he obtains the National Paintings Prize, from the IV National Paintings, Engravings and Sculptures Salon, event that was an important milestone on his career. Vida en un interior (Life in an interior), one of his most known works, illustrates the definition process of his artistic expressive style, with a special poetic that valuates at the same time, the versatility of his plastic resources, and a exquisite sensibility handling different topics. He left Cuba in 1968 and came to Miami. His geometric style changed with the change in surroundings. Mijares was a prolific painter even in his waning years, working about six hours a day, beginning at sunrise.Florida International University gave Mijares an honorary doctorate in fine arts in December 2001. In 2002, he opened the Mijares Gallery in Coral Gables, where his latest works went on display.


Mirta Cerra important Cuban Artist

Mirta Cerra was born ,April 23, 1904 in Bejucal, Cuba , was a Cuban painter. She studied from 1928 until 1934 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, Havana, and at the Art Students League, New York, between 1935-1936. She had a solo exhibition in 1943 titled Exposición de Pintura Mirta Cerra at the Lyceum, Havana. In 1950 she showed her works at the Club de las Naciones Unidas, Washington, D.C. In 1955 she had a show in New York titled Mirta Cerra, at the Galería Sudamericana. Later in 1983 some of hers works were exhibited as Vida Plena. Pinturas y Dibujos de Mirta Cerra at Galería L in Havana.


Carlos Sobrino ,Cuban(1909 - 1975)

Title: “Retrato de Eloisa Carbonell de Sobrino” Year: 1954
Carlos Sobrino: (1909 - 1975). Cuban Artist studied at the Villate School, and at the San Alejandro Academy. He showed numerous exhibits of his work including in 1932 at the Lyceum and Lawn Tennis Club in Havana. He participated at the Fine Arts Salon of Havana. His work was showed in countries such as the United States and France. He was a painter but also a sculptor and ceramics artist. Carlos Sobrino received a gold medal in the 1954 Hispanic-American Biennial. He also received the 1957 National Painting Award at the Fine Arts Palace in Havana. His work Rural Peasant Concentration received the National Painting Award in 1959 and the National Fine Arts Museum in Havana acquired it for their collection. He went into exile in 1969 and died in Madrid Spain.