He was born in Quesada (Jaén) in 1907. In 1925, he travelled to Madrid to study at the San Fernando School of Fine Arts. Two years later, he was named delegate of the National Artistic Treasury. After the Spanish Civil War, charges were brought against him and he spent a brief period at a jail in Jaén. During this period, a series of drawings begun three years earlier on the conflict were seized. Starting from 1940, he began a new stage of his life and painting, more original and less influenced by academic painting. Country and mountain themes are abundantly prominent. During his travels to Paris, Zabaleta met Picasso and other relevant Spanish painters of the time. In 1960, he exhibited a series of 16 oil paintings and ten drawings at the Spanish pavilion in the Venice Biennale, his most important exhibition. He died in 1960.