Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ignacio Merino

Reading Don Quixote
oil on canvas
130.5 x 162.0 cm    
Museo de Arte de Lima, Peru

Ignacio Merino Munoz (1817-1876) was a Peruvian painter who spent much of his life in Paris. He specialized in historical works and costumbrista.

His father was a judge, district administrator and military commander. His mother was from an aristocratic family. At the age of ten, he was sent to study in Paris, where he earned his Bachelor's degree and became interested in art. He tended to focus on history painting themes from European history.

Back in Peru, he became Director of the Academy of Drawing and Painting, where he influenced the careers of other prominent painters. During the 1840s, he created a series of portraits devoted to Peruvian saints. In 1850, he had an opportunity to study with Eugene Delacroix, and returned to Paris. He remained there for the rest of his life. He was later inspired by European literature and created works based on the writings of Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott and Cervantes. He died in 1876 and he left his estate to the City of Lima. This included 33 paintings.