Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Prilidiano Pueyrredon

Un alto en el campo (A stop on the field)
oil on canvas
75.5 x 166.5 cm
National Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Prilidiano Pueyrredon (1823-1870), born in Buenos Aires, was an Argentine painter, architect, and engineer. He was one of the most important of the first generation of local artists which emerged in the nineteenth century in the Argentina, and was a prominent architect and undertook important public works. He got his fame and prestige through their portraits, but also painted numerous landscapes and pastoral scenes. He combined his painting career with architecture.

In 1835 his family relocated to Europe, where he completed his education. He spent the school year in Paris and summers in Cadiz, where his father owned a business importing Argentine leather. Six years later, as relations between France and Argentina suffered, his family left Europe for Rio de Janeiro. He traveled again to Europe in 1844. Already in the old continent, he enrolled in the Polytechnic Institute of Paris, where he studied architecture without abandoning the practice of drawing and painting. In 1849, he returned to Argentina.

The 1850s and 1860s were his most prolific period as a painter. 233 works survive from this period, more than half of them commissioned portraits. Around the same time, he became one of the first painters to explore the figure of the gaucho, whom he depicted in the Romantic style he had discovered while living in Europe. Many of his most famous works depict life in the wilds of the Pampas and on the banks of the Rio de la Plata.