Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta (Spanish painter) 1870 - 1945
Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta was born into a family of ceramists in Eichar, near the monastery of Loyola, in 1870. He came at a young age to Paris where he completed his secondary studies and then went to Rome at 20. Back in Paris, he lived in Montmartre and married the sister of Maxime Dethomas who introduced him to some artists of the Symbolist group, notably Paul Gauguin and the poet Mallarm. He also met Degas and Rodin and worked during four years without feeling obliged to frequent an art school. Zuloaga was mainly interested in the works of avant-garde artists and made frequent trips to Spain, exhibiting his paintings there and in Paris. He met success after showing four paintings at the Socit Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1914 during which he was hailed as a great painter by art critics.But he was rather independent-minded and never bothered to be promoted. In fact Zuloaga doubted about his own talent and was never satisfied with his production. Still he was extraordinarily gifted and represented something quite brutal in his paintings, a sombre and sad Spain reminiscent of El Greco, Velasquez, Zurbaran or Goya. Real Spanish blood ran in his veins notably through his representations of bull fights, gypsies, proud and poor peasants. Zuloaga became much famous thanks to his expressive portraits painted with backgrounds showing cities or landscapes. Alongside Picasso Zuloaga was considered as the greatest contemporary Spanish painter. He exhibited his works in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Rome, Venice, Moscow, Leningrad, Chicago, New York, Washington and Buenos Aires.