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Tuesday, 15 May 2012


I love Federico and Raimundo de Madrazo art, they belonged to an artist and very talented family of painters, teachers, architects, critics and museum directors. Its members included some of the most important artists in the 19th century in Spain. And today I felt like writing a post about them to share with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz (1815 – 1894)

He was born in Rome, he was the son of the painter Madrazo y Agudo, who was the Court painter, director of the Royal Academy of San Fernando and the King's Gallery (subsequently the Prado Museum). He was the most sought-after Spanish painter of the second third of the 19th century, and had an unrivalled reputation both in Spain and abroad. This was thanks to his family background, his social situation, and above all to his early artistic training by his father. He was the brother of Pedro de Madrazo, a celebrated man of letters, critic and author of several of the first catalogues in the Prado Museum. Another of his brothers, Juan, was the architect who planned the restoration of León Cathedral. His brother, Don Luis de Madrazo, was also known as a painter, chiefly by his Burial of Saint Cecilia (1855).

While still attending the classes at the Royal Academy of San Fernando, he painted his first picture, The Resurrection of Christ (1829), which was purchased by Queen Christina.

While decorating the palace of Vista Alegre he took up portraiture. In 1852 he went to Paris, where he studied under Franz Winterhalter, and painted portraits of Baron Taylor and Ingres. In 1837 he was commissioned to produce a picture for the gallery at Versailles, and painted "Godfrey de Bouillon proclaimed King of Jerusalem". The artist then went to Rome, where he worked at various subjects, sacred and profane. Then he painted Maria Christina in the Dress of a Nun by the Bedside of Ferdinand III (1843), Queen Isabella, The Duchess of Medina-Coeli, and The Countess de Vilches (1845-1847), besides a number of portraits of the Spanish aristocracy, some of which were sent to the exhibition of 1855.

He received the Legion of Honour in 1846. He was made a corresponding member of the Paris Academy of Fine Arts in 1853 and in 1873, on the death of Schnorr, the painter, he was chosen foreign member. After his father's death he succeeded him as director of the Museo del Prado and president of the Academy of San Fernando. He originated in Spain the production of art reviews and journals. He died at Madrid in 1894.

And here you are some of his paintings:

Federico's best-known pupil was his son, Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta.

Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta (1841 - 1920)

Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta was born in Rome in 1841 in a family of famous painters, later he became a brother-in-law of one of the most important painters of the 19th century Spain, Mariano Fortuny. This solid basis allowed him to turn into one of the bulwarks of the so-called bourgeois realism which development acquired the central and determining role. His first studies in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid and his later studies in Paris with Leon Coignet brought severe but correct academic touches into his early works.

A traveler and a cosmopolite with good connections with professionals, he never sent a single work to the national exhibitions, but together with Giuseppe de Nittis, his Belgian friend Alfred Stevens, and a gallery keeper George Petit he staged the International Exhibition of Painting which aim was to promote the foreign art in the real artistic capital of the fin de siècle: Paris.

After the first attempts in the academic style he turned to the more decorative and fresh painting continuing in a certain sense his brother-in-law Fortuny’s tradition with the refined realism transferred to the canvas through a subtle and elaborate colour spectrum that reached the heights of mastery in the works inspired by his model and lover Aline Masson, combining tender feelings and the primacy of the execution. He was notable for the portraits, making this genre one of his favorite ones; it was not in vain that his father was a great portrait painter who taught Raimundo, and the latter added a personal touch to the elegant French portrait of the Second Imperium that, in the long run, had its roots in the English portrait painting of the previous century.

The influence of the Rococo and of Japanese art is reflected in his painting, which expresses an exquisite aristocratic or bourgeois ideal, the illusion of a refined, sensual and superficial life. Consequently, his works are also described as representing the 'Parisian seraglio'. American collectors paid high prices for his paintings. The Museo del Prado has a good number of his paintings.

And here you are some of his paintings too:



  1. Dear Nieves

    Knowing your blogs was a gift to me: I'm learning more. The paintings are quite impressive. They are rich in detail that makes them look like photographs. I like that.


    1. Dear friend, you are always so sweet! and it makes me very happy you enjoy my posts and you find them interesting. Related to these paintings, some of them are hanged on the Prado Museum and every time I visit it I have to visit these Madrazo's paintings, believe me! Beijos for you!

  2. I can definitely tell that father thought his son. Very similar style and so beautiful :)
    Hope you had a great weekend, Nieves!
    Hugs from Ohio,

    1. Hi Ivanhoe, definitely genes have much to tell sometimes, have not they? Nice weekend to you too!

  3. Nice blog post, do note that this piece is actually a work by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, not Madrazo.

    1. Eric, you were right, thanks a lot for leaving your comment, you were very nice for it and I have already taken out that Ingres painting from my post. Best regards,


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