Biography of Francisco Oller | Puerto Rican painter.

(Bayamon, 1833 - San Juan de Puerto Rico, 1917) Puerto Rican painter. Since childhood he felt great fondness for drawing and devoted great effort to the learning of the pictorial art. At the age of eighteen, he traveled to Madrid with the intention of completing his artistic training at the Academy of San Fernando, where he had, among others, one of the most important Spanish painters of the time, Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz.
Two years later he returned to his homeland, Puerto Rico, but his restlessness led him to make a new trip to Europe, this time to France. He settled in Paris and entered the workshop of T. Couture to complete his painting studies, at the time that was registered as a copyist in the Louvre Museum, where he had as tutor to Gustave Courbet.
They were difficult years in economic issues and Francisco Oller performed any work to keep: worked as a sacristan, as baritone in a company of Italian opera, etc. During these years of youth attended the Guerbois Café and brasserie Andler, place where he met the painters Degas and Pissarro, and the novelist Zola. In 1859 he entered the Studio of Gleyre, where he had as fellow students to Bazille, Renoir, Monet, and Sisley; later he met Cézanne and in 1861 visited the workshop of Courbet.

The velorio (1893), of Francisco Oller
In 1865 he returned to Puerto Rico, become the first artist of Spanish-speaking who had adopted the Impressionist style. Three years later he began teaching, crucial work in the Puerto Rican plastic, with the opening in the capital of a free Academy of drawing and painting. He continued to travel to Europe and was established in 1876 in Madrid, this time as a devoted artist. He received several important commissions: portraits, landscapes and genre scenes. This period Madrid date from his works Colonel Contreras in Treviño (1878) and a beggar (1881).
At the age of 51, he definitively returned to Puerto Rico, where he founded a new Academy, the school for drawing and painting. In 1902 he was appointed Professor of drawing at the Normal School, which was later to become National University. His work art and teaching were decisive in the formation of a national Puerto Rican art and it was considered the most important artist of the 19th century in Puerto Rico.
His painting, which evolved from early academic realism to Impressionism learned first hand in France, gave rise to an interest in the Puerto Rican plastic by portraying the everyday surroundings: the people, the landscapes, traditions. His works include: the lawsuit of inheritance (1854-1856), Portrait of Manuel Sicard (1866-1868), mill (1875), Las lavanderas (1887-1888), El Velorio (1893) and still life with pineapple (1912-1914).
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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