Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta 1870-1945 | Basque Spanish painter
Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta born in Eibar, near the monastery of Loyola. He was the son of metalworker and damascener Plácido Zuloaga and grandson of the organizer and director of the royal armoury in Madrid. In his youth, he drew and worked in his father's workshop. He was educated by the Jesuits in France. His father wanted him to be an architect, and with this objective in mind, he was sent to Rome, where he immediately followed the strong impulse that led him to painting. After only six months' work he completed his first picture, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890. Continuing his studies in Paris, where he lived for five years, he was strongly influenced by Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Only upon returning to his native land did he find his true style, which is based on the national Spanish tradition embodied in the work of Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, El Greco, and Francisco Goya.
His own country was slow in acknowledging the young artist whose strong, decorative and rugged style stood in opposition to the styles of well-known modern Spanish artists such as Fortuny, Madrazo, and Benlliure. It was first in Paris, and then Brussels and other European art centres, that Zuloaga was hailed by the reformers as the regenerator of Spanish national art and as the leader of a school. He is now represented in galleries across Europe.