Antonio Muñoz Degrain Spain
11-18-1840, Valencia, ESP - 10-12-1924, Málaga, ESPBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Antonio Muñoz Degrain was a Spanish painter of French descent. He tackled a wide range of topics, including his landscapes and works of historical themes, inspired by literary passages and Orientalist affairs. Stylistically his work walks between Impressionist modernity, academic conditions, where he comes from his training, and a subjective and fantastic vision of nature that brings him to romantic and symbolist precepts.
He began by studying architecture, but soon switched to painting and enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos de Valencia. His time there was also short, as he soon moved to Rome and led a Bohemian life, becoming largely an autodidact. The rigors of surviving there prompted a return to Spain.
In 1862, he displayed his work for the first time at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts with a painting of the Pyrenees, which gained an honorable mention. After that, he became a regular exhibition participant.
In 1870, his friend Bernardo Ferrándiz Bádenes obtained a commission for him to decorate the ceiling of the Teatro Cervantes in Málaga. Antonio Muñoz Degrain was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III in 1878 for his painting of Queen Isabella giving her jewelry to Columbus. The following year, he became a Professor at the "Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Telmo".
He made a second trip to Rome in 1882, this time on a government fellowship, and remained for two years. Upon his return, he won First Prize at the National Exhibition for his depiction of a scene from the Lovers of Teruel. In 1893, as part of the Columbian Issue, his painting of Isabella was used on a $1 U.S. postage stamp.
Five years later, he replaced Carlos de Haes in the chair of landscape painting at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. He became the Director there in 1901.
Criticized by his contemporaries, Antonio Muñoz Degrain implemented, especially in the landscape paintings violent and strident colorful use and a bold bill that few artists of his time came to dare, undoubtedly, it approached the most outstanding artists of modernity. However, the prudence of his compositional structures clashes with the subjectivism and color that place him in the vanguard of landscape painting in Spain. And that is why his work is halfway to the most innovative European pictorial movements.
Art Movement: Impressionism