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Meadows Museum opens Impressions of Europe 19th-Century Vistas by Martin Rico

Meadows Museum in Dallas, Texas presents Impressions of Europe. 19th-Century Vistas by Martin Rico on view March 10 – July 7, 2013.

Martin Rico
Martin Rico, Venice. The Entry to the Grand Canal, 1877. Oil on canvas, 42.4 x 71.7 cm.. Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, gift of Caroline Gibson Taitt.

The Spanish painter Martín Rico y Ortega (1833-1908) was one of the most important artists of the second half of the nineteenth century in his native country, and enjoyed wide international recognition as well, especially in France and the United States. From his earliest works painted in the mountainous countryside outside of Madrid to the later works he painted in Paris and Venice, throughout his life Rico stayed true to his love of painting en plein air, despite his evolving artistic style.
Rico was born in Madrid and received his earliest formal training at the city’s Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he studied under Jenaro Pérez Villaamil (1807-1854), the Academy’s first professor of landscape painting. Under the tutelage of Pérez Villaamil, Rico’s earliest works show him influenced by Romanticism, the style for which his teacher was known. In 1860, having been awarded a government-sponsored scholarship, Rico moved to Paris to continue his studies. Once in France, Rico looked to the artists of the Barbizon School for inspiration, and Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878) in particular. His landscapes from this decade thus depict the French and Swiss countryside in a fully-accomplished Realist style. Toward the end of 1870, due to political and social unrest caused by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Rico decided to leave France and return to his native Spain.

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