L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Todos los niños - portraits of children by Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina

I'm completely wearing out the phrase, "Here's another wonderful artist that I'd never heard of before!"; I've lost track of just how many times I've deployed that sentiment here. But I just keep stumbling over them! And I do find it rather alarming to be so frequently confronted with the realization that, in the writing of art history, our terrifically learned historians have, in their wisdom, selected only a very few "Greats" for our admiration, while sifting out all the rest - some very good artists, indeed - leaving them to sink into obscurity, invisibility.

Certainly Esquivel - today's little "resurrection" - is no Rembrandt or Michelangelo. His skill is limited. He's no revolutionary, no genius. But why does he need to be? His work is charming, these children are charming. C'est suffisant pour moi!

Infanta María Luisa Teresa de Borbón, duquesa de Sessa, 1834.
Retrato de niños jugando con un carnero, 1843.
La niña Concepción Solá Garrido con su perrito, 1847.
Retrato de niño con perro y paloma, 1847.
Retrato de niña tocando el tambor, 1837.
Retrato de niña con aro de cascabeles, 1846.
Retrato de niña, 1844.
Autorretrato junto a sus hijos Carlos y Vicente, 1843.
Retrato de niña con perro, 1831.
Infanta María Luisa Teresa de Borbón, 1832. (I believe this is a miniature, and the same sitter as in the first image.)
Retrato del hijo primogénito de don Antonio Hompanera de Cos, 1852.
Retrato de niña vestida de pasiega, 1843.
Rafaela Flores Calderón, circa 1842.
Manuel Flores Calderón, circa 1842.
Retrato de niña desconocida, 1822. (Miniature; the artist was sixteen when he painted this.)
Retrato de la hija del pintor, 1841.
 Isabel de Tejada y de la Pezuela, 1851.
Retrato de dos niñas, 1848.
José Villaamil, circa 1830s-40s.
Retrato de niña, 1838.
 Retrato de niña con un jilguero, circa 1845. (Miniature.)
Retrato de niños en un jardín, circa 1839.
Carlos Pomar Margrand, 1851.
Retrato de niña con rosas, 1834.
Los Infantes Raimundo Roberto y Fernando José, los hijos de Su Alteza Real la Infanta Josefa Fernanda de Borbón, 1855.


Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina (8 March 1806, Seville - 9 April 1857, Madrid), Spanish painter who specialized in portraits. The son of a cavalry officer who had been killed at the Battle of Bailén in 1808, he began his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Santa Isabel de Hungría in Seville, where he was deeply influenced by the work of Murillo. In 1831 at the age twenty-five, already married and in need of better opportunities, he moved to Madrid and enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. He became much involved in the intellectual life of Madrid and went on to be a driving force in the founding of  the Liceo Artístico y Literario in 1837, where he gave classes in anatomy; he would later teach the same subject at the Academia de San Fernando.

In 1839, suffering from an illness that left him nearly blind, he returned home to Seville. Deeply depressed, he tried to commit suicide by jumping into the Guadalquivir River. Afterwards, his friends and colleagues at the Liceo took up a collection that enabled him to receive treatment from a famous ophthalmologist in Paris; by the end of the following year he had recovered his vision. After his recovery and his return to Madrid, he would go on to receive the "Commander's Cross" of the Order of Isabella the Catholic and, in 1843, he was named Court painter. He died at the age of fifty-one. His sons Carlos and Vicente both went on to have careers as artists; their father included them in his self-portrait, seen above.

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