Skip to content

Homeland Month in BucharestArt - 5 essential Chilean Painters

Meet five great exponents of Chilean painting linked to the Academy of Painting, whose works are essential and are part of the BucharestArt collection.

The beginnings of painting in Chile.

The history of Chilean painting is rich and extensive. However, an important milestone in the professionalization of the visual arts in Chile occurred in 1848, when the Academy of Painting was founded in Santiago, under the direction of the prominent Italian artist, Alejandro Ciccarelli. This event marked the beginning of a fruitful era of artist training, and over the decades, the first national painters emerged. This initiative to provide professional artistic education in Chile gave rise to notable students who, over time, became teachers, such as Pedro Lira, Juan Francisco González, Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma and Alberto Valenzuela Llanos. In this month of the country, we present five great exponents of Chilean painting linked to the Academy of Painting, whose works are essential and are part of the BucharestArt collection.

The portraits of Marcial Plaza Ferrand.

Marcial Plaza Ferrand began his artistic career at the Academy of Painting, under the direction of Pedro Lira, in 1893. During his time at the academy, he was noted for his skill in creating portraits. In 1901, the Chilean government awarded him a scholarship to continue his studies in France, where he attended the prestigious Julian Academy in Paris. His works are characterized by their compositional balance and their structured and purposeful organization. The portraits of women he created present voluptuous forms and a delicate femininity. Additionally, he developed a masterful handling of color and light, which resulted in the creation of warm atmospheres that connect all the elements in his paintings. Marcial Plaza Ferrand spent the rest of his life in France, where he continued his prolific artistic career until his death.

Painting by the Chilean painter Plaza Ferrand in the BucharestArt collection See Marcial Plaza Ferrand 'Odalisca'


The prolific work of Juan Francisco González.

The life and work of Juan Francisco González immerse us in an exciting chapter in the history of Chilean art. As a disciple of the renowned Pedro Lira, González explored the artistic world with an insatiable curiosity. His trip to Europe was a turning point that immersed him in the impressionist currents, marking a renewal in his style that brought him closer to the avant-garde of his time.

The artistic production of Juan Francisco González is impressive in every sense, with an astonishing catalog that exceeds 4,000 creations. His works cover a wide spectrum, from exquisite representations of flowers and fruits to captivating landscapes and portraits, usually in small format. His work is characterized by a rigorous study of light, the intensity of color and the expression and ease of the line that marked a difference with the pictorial ideals of his time, becoming a reference for new trends.

Small format painting by the Chilean painter Juan Francisco González. See Juan Francisco González - 'Landscape of Melipilla'

The landscapes of Alfredo Araya and Enrique Swinburn.

Alfredo Araya, born in Illapel on October 4, 1893 and died in 1954, was an outstanding artist whose talent was initially forged as a self-taught person but then he had the opportunity to learn in the painting and plaster workshop under the tutelage of the teacher Pedro Lira. . Later, he continued his education at the School of Fine Arts with the guidance of Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor.

Alfredo Araya left his mark on Chile's artistic history as one of the founding members of the National Society of Fine Arts in 1918. His contribution to the art world was noted for his focus on the representation of landscapes, which reflected beauty and diversity of the Chilean natural environment. Throughout his career, his works revealed a deep love for nature and an exceptional ability to capture the essence of landscapes in his creations.

Landscape painting by the Chilean painter Alfredo Araya from the BucharestArt collection

See Alfredo Araya - 'Cordilleran Landscape'

Enrique Swinburn

Despite his initial inclination towards mathematics, Enrique Swinburn eventually followed his true passion and joined the School of Fine Arts. There, he had the privilege of being a student of prominent masters of Chilean art such as Pedro Lira, Onofre Jarpa and Tomás J. Somerscales.

Swinburn's work is distinguished by his dedication to landscape painting, especially those that capture the majesty of Chile's mountainous areas and enchanting marine environments. His paintings are characterized by meticulous work in the representation of atmospheres and luminosity. In his works, you can see seasonal changes and various times of the day, which reveals his deep understanding of nature and his ability to capture it on canvas.

What is notable about Swinburn's work is his carefully regulated color palette, which uses grays and pastel colors to achieve sublime nuances in his landscapes. His brushstroke style varied throughout his career, showing moments of rigor and attention to detail, as well as moments of speed and gesture. This artistic versatility allowed him to explore and express the beauty of Chilean landscapes in unique and captivating ways.

Enrique Swinburn is remembered as an exceptional painter whose love of nature and mastery of landscape representation left a lasting mark on the history of Chilean art.

Landscape by Chilean painter Enrique Swinburn from the BucharestArt collection See Enrique Swinburn - Oil 'Landscape river and mountains'

Álvaro Casanova Zenteno's passion for the sea.

Álvaro Casanova Zenteno was passionate about the coastal landscape and the naval world. He considers himself the heir to a long tradition of marinist painters, being the artistic successor of Tomás J. Somerscales in Valparaíso. Although he did not study at the Painting Academy, his teachers did because He took classes with the painter Pascual Ortega, the landscape painter Onofre Jarpa Labra and Enrique Swinburn.

Casanova Zenteno stood out for its honorable, civic and patriotic artistic production. His technique was objective and realistic, seeking to capture nature in all its depth and authenticity. His work includes famous paintings that are part of the nautical history of Chile.

After the Revolution of 1891, he was deported to Chiloé, where he began one of the most fruitful stages of his pictorial work. In this place, he looked for sunrises and the last rays of the sun, as well as the reflections and backlights that allowed him to represent coastal motifs. His works often portrayed the boats in Angelmó, fishermen gathering nets or adjusting the sails. This stage in Chiloé marked a high point in Álvaro Casanova Zenteno's career and left a lasting legacy in the artistic representation of the Chilean sea and coast.

Marine-themed painting by the Chilean painter Álvaro Casanova Zenteno

Watch Alvaro Casanova Zenteno - 'Two Vapors'

The academic training provided by the Painting Academy has left a lasting mark on the Chilean art world. From its classrooms emerged talented painters who not only elevated the creative production of a young country, but also paved the way for future artistic exploration. Likewise, the academy represents the starting point for several independent painters who, bored by the dogmatism of the institution, set out in search of new horizons and techniques.

In this national month, we invite you to explore the fascinating collection of Classic Chilean painting in BucharestArt. Here you will find works that capture the essence of the Chilean artistic tradition and that reflect the diversity of styles, techniques and visions that have emerged over the years. These paintings are vivid testimonies of Chile's cultural richness and the invaluable contribution of its artists to the global art scene. Explore the collection of Classical Chilean Painting on BucharestArt here .

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published..


Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options