Thursday, June 11, 2015

Benjamin Franklin Rawson

Retrato de Eduardo Lahitte Uribelarrea
oil on canvas
130.5 x 101.0 cm
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Benjamin Franklin Rawson (1819-1871), born in the city of San Juan, was an Argentine painter who belonged to the first generation of Argentine painters called the "precursors". He painted figures and scenes of his time, always characterized with a sense of balance. Most of his work consists of portraits and miniatures, lucrative genres because the wealthy social sector paid well to preserve their images.

When he turned eighteen years old, his father sent him to Buenos Aires to study painting, where he perfected portrait and miniature painting. After studying in Buenos Aires, he returned to San Juan. However, mainly due to the political conflicts that erupted in the province, he was forced to leave the country in 1842, taking refuge in Chile. There he continued his painting apprenticeship.

He returned to San Juan in 1847 and was elected a provincial deputy. However, he resigned and moved back to Buenos Aires, where he continued his painting. He died in Buenos Aires in 1871, one of the victims of an epidemic of yellow fever that struck the city in those years.