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Beruete, Aureliano de

Madrid, 27.9.1845 - Madrid, 5.1.1912

Born to an upper-class family in Madrid, he studied law, completing his Doctorate in Civil Law in 1867. He combined those studies with an interest in the Fine Arts, beginning painting classes at the School of Fine Arts with Carlos de Haes in 1874 and visiting the Museo del Prado as a copyist. During the revolutionary period he was a member of parliament, but he abandoned his political activities after Alphonse XII returned and dedicated all his time to painting. Beruete was also an important art collector, and he even came to possess Michelangelo’s drawing for the Libyan Sibyl (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art) and El Greco’s Purification of the Temple (New York, The Frick Collection). His son, who shared his forename and both surnames, was an important critic and art historian, as well as the first non-artist to direct the Museo del Prado.
His official and public career as a painter began in 1878, when he submitted The Banks of the Manzanares (Museo del Prado, P4050) to the National Exhibition of Fine Arts and obtained a third prize. He later obtained two second prizes, in 1901 and 1904, respectively. In fact, he frequently participated in such contests, including international exhibitions such as the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878 and the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. Six years later, he was a jury member at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1889, and again in 1900.
He traveled to Paris in 1878, where painter Rogelio de Egusquiza (1845-1915) introduced him to Martín Rico, who brought him into the circle of Plein Air painters and put him in contact with the Barbizon School. Beruete traveled throughout Spain and much of Europe, obtaining first-hand knowledge of Impressionism through personal contact with painters such as Claude Monet (1840-1926). His lengthy career as a plein-air painter focused primarily on the outskirts of Madrid and the area around the Sierra de Guadarrama. His sober, realist images are rooted in Velázquez’s most summary naturalism and are linked to the regenerationist ideas advocated by Madrid’s Institución Libre de Enseñanza.
Beruete’s close friendship with Joaquín Sorolla led him to organize a retrospective exhibition of that landscape painter’s work the same year he died suddenly in the latter’s studio. And that relationship is well represented at the Museo del Prado by numerous portraits of his family, including Sorolla’s The Painter Aureliano de Beruete y Moret, son (P7683) and a likeness of Beurete’s sister, María de los Ángeles Beruete, Widow Countess of Muguiro (P7979) (G. Navarro, C. in: El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 467-468).

His portrait by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida at the Museo del Prado bears the number P04646.

Artworks (29)

The Banks of the Manzanares River
Oil on canvas, 1877 - 1878
Beruete, Aureliano de
Orillas del Avia (estudio)
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1884
Beruete, Aureliano de
Las huertas de Toledo
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1884
Beruete, Aureliano de
Landscape of Torrelodones
Oil on canvas, 1891
Beruete, Aureliano de
En los altos de Fuenfría (Sierra de Guadarrama)
Oil on canvas, 1891
Beruete, Aureliano de
Orillas del Laïta. Quimperlé, Bretaña
Oil on paper attached to canvas, 1901
Beruete, Aureliano de
Paisaje de Castilla
Oil on canvas mounted on cardboard, Ca. 1907
Beruete, Aureliano de
El Tajo, Toledo
Oil on canvas, 1905 - 1906
Beruete, Aureliano de
Landscape
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1910
Beruete, Aureliano de

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