Francisco de Paula Van Halen
He began his career in Barcelona, then moved to Madrid, where he enrolled at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando and studied with José Aparicio. In 1838, he made his public début at the age of twenty-four with his rendering of the death of Don Álvaro de Luna; displayed at an exposition of the "Liceo Artistico y Literario".
After that, he found work as an illustrator and engraver for some of Madrid's major magazines. He also edited several collections of lithographs, including La España Pintoresca y Artística, El Museo Histórico Español and Museo Militar. One of his most popular collections, which was reissued in the 1950s, was Función de Toros.
In 1851, he was named a court painter for Queen Isabel II and was elected a member of the San Fernando Academy. His work for the Queen included the creation of scientific drawings for the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales and one of his two best-known battle paintings, the "Batalla de los Siete Condes" was commissioned by her. The other one, the "Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa" is on display in the Senate Palace. Many of his other paintings are on display in the Royal Palace. From 1860, he was a frequent participant in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts.
- Carmen Mañas Cano and Enrique Arias Anglés, "El pintor Van Halen en el Patrimonio Nacional (su vida y su obra)", Reales Sitios, #64, 1980, pgs. 21-29.