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Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma[1] (Valparaiso, February 8, 1856 – Villejuif, France, October 27, 1909), was one of Chile's best-known painters and one of the four artists known as the Great Chilean Masters.

Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma
Retrato del pintor alfredo valenzuela.jpg
Born Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma
(1856-02-08)February 8, 1856
Valparaíso, Chile
Died (1909-10-27)October 27, 1909
Villejuif, France
Nationality Chilean
Known for Painting
Awards 1877 - First place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1878 - First and second place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1880 - First place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1884 - First place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1889 - Honorable mention, Salon de Paris, France; 1890 - Third place, Salón de Otoño, Madrid, Spain; 1892 - Marcos Maturana award , Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1892 - Edwards Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1896 - First place, Exposición Municipal de Valparaíso, Chile; 1899 - Edwards Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1901 - Third place, Exposición de Buffalo, United States; 1903 - Edwards Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile; 1929 - Third place, Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, Spain.
"La lección de geografía" (Georgraphy Lesson). The painter followed the rules of the Chilean Academy very closely for much of his life. Several historians have described him as a perfect example of the Academy’s formal style, although Puelma liked to paint scenes of everyday life, as can be seen in this work.

Contents

BiographyEdit

Alfredo showed a talent and interest in art from an early age. At the age of twelve, he began attending the Academy of Fine Arts where he learned from Ernesto Kirchbach and Juan Mochi. For the first few years he combined artistic training with the study of medicine.

Between 1881 and 1885 he was awarded a scholarship from the Chilean Government to continue his art studies at the workshop of Benjamin Constant in Paris. He also took courses in anatomy at the Sorbonne, where he made contact with movements that would go on to revolutionise art history, like the Manet School. However, it was the work of the Spanish masters that he copied at the Louvre that made the deepest impression on him, and were more of an influence on his style.

In 1887, for the second time, he won a scholarship to study in Paris this time attended the workshop of Jean Paul Laurens. Whilst studying in France and upon his return to Chile, he submitted his works to be included in most art galleries and art contests in Santiago, and won awards on several occasions. During the last decade of the 19th century, when living in Valparaíso, he played an active role as an administrator at the Theater La Victoria, as well as managing art exhibitions.

Valenzuela Puelma made his final trip to France in 1907 and never returned to Chile. He was suffering from persistent depression and mental illness that left him destitute and led ultimately to his death at the age of 53. His remains were later repatriated to Chile and honored at a grand ceremony held in the main hall of the National Museum of Fine Arts.

Although Valenzuela Puelma was not formally dedicated to teaching, his students included the painters Alfredo Helsby and Eucarpio Espinosa, among others, which is why critic and historian Antonio Romera includes him in the group of the Great Masters of Chilean painting.[2]

StyleEdit

Valenzuela Puelma successfully developed a realistic technique based on the canon of academic art. Throughout his productive career, he worked using oils and painted a very diverse range of subjects, such as landscapes, interiors, portraits, still lifes and especially nudes. These include "La Perla del Mercader" (The Merchant’s Pearl),[3] one of the most popular paintings in the Chilean art world. He is also known for his penchant for Arabic motifs, reflecting the influence of his teacher, Constant.

 
La perla del mercader (The Merchant’s Pearl) (1884). One of the fascinations of Puelma was the Eastern world and exotic lands. "The Merchant Pearl" is a fine example of this. The work now hangs in the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts and is one of Puelma’s best known works.

Awards and distinctionsEdit

  • 1877 - First place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1878 - First and second place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1880 - First place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1884 - First place, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1889 - Honorable mention, Salon de Paris, France.
  • 1890 - Third place, Salón de Otoño, Madrid, Spain.
  • 1892 - Marcos Maturana Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1892 - Edwards Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1896 - First place, Exposición Municipal de Valparaíso, Chile.
  • 1899 - Edwards Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1901 - Third place, Buffalo Exhibition, United States.
  • 1903 - Edwards Award, Salón Oficial, Santiago, Chile.
  • 1929 - Third place, Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, Spain

Selected list of worksEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma Biography in spanish www.artistasplasticoschilenos.cl Biblioteca Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile Retrieved March 25, 2013
  2. ^ Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma Biography in Spanish www.portaldeart.cl Retrieved 5 April 2013
  3. ^ La perla del Mercader Investigacion www.portaldearte.cl Retrieved 8 April 2013

BibliographyEdit

  • Alvarez Uriquieta, Luis. 1928. La Pintura en Chile. Santiago de Chile: Imprenta la Ilustración. Conservación, restauración y estudios artísticos, Historia del Arte.
  • Galaz, Gaspar and Milan Ivelic. 1981. La Pintura en Chile desde la Colonia hasta 1981. Valparaíso: Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Ediciones Universitarias. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes.
  • Valenzuela González, Alvaro. 1968. 'Historia de la Sociedad Científica de Valparaíso', Anales del Museo de Historia Natural de Valparaiso (1): 27-47.

External linksEdit