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Calleja, Andrés de la

Ezcaray, La Rioja (Spain), 1705 - Madrid (Spain), 1785

He studied in Madrid with Jerónimo Antonio Ezquerra and Miguel Jacinto Meléndez, and according to Ceán, his first work consisted of two paintings based on drawings by Meléndez for the church of San Felipe el Real in Madrid: “Saint Augustine Calling Up a Plague of Locusts” and “The Burial of the Count of Orgaz”. A protege of the Prince of Asturias and future King Ferdinand VI, he was appointed chamber painter on July 9, 1734 after painting a round portable prayer stand dedicated to the Holy Family and now at Madrid's Royal Palace. Some months later, after the Alcázar burned, he worked with painter Juan García de Miranda to help restore the damaged canvases. In 1742 he obtained the post of Quartermaster's assistant and requested that of first chamber painter. In 1744, his concern for the updating of art education led Philip V to appoint him honorary director for the preparation of the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, which opened in 1752. In 1778, he became its director general. Despite the obligations associated with his job, essentially making artworks for the palaces in Madrid, La Granja de San Ildefonso and Riofrío in Segovia (small portable prayer stands, tapestry cartoons for the Royal Factory of Santa Bárbara, etc.) he continued to draw up inventories and appraise painting collections. After Philip V died in 1747 he appraised nine-hundred thirteen works from the monarch's collection. In 1750 he appraised Diego de Mudarra y Herrera's collection. In 1751 he did the same for Julián Moreno de Villodas, and in 1764, for Francisco Sáez. As a result, he barely had time to paint, and that explains the relative paucity of works by his hand. His cartoons for the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Bárbara are outstanding, as are his portraits of “José de Carvajal y Lancaster” (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando) and “Charles III” (Gripsholm Slott, Mariefred, Stockholm). Among his religious scenes, “Saint Anthony” stands out, and among the mythological works, an allegory of “Time Discovering the Truth” (Royal Academy of San Fernando, madrid). His style owes much to French artists Jean Ranc and Louis Michel van Loo and to German painter and theorist Anton Raphael Mengs. He died in an accident and was buried at the church of Santa María de la Almudena in Madrid (Burguera Arienza, B., Enciclopedia del Museo Nacional del Prado, 2006, vol II, pp. 593-594).

Artworks (7)

Father Enrique Flórez
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la
Man with a Bottle and A Goblet In His Hands. Autumn (?)
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la
The Rustic House
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la
Woman With a Child On Her Back, Conversing with Two Men
Oil on canvas, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la
The Virgin and Child
Yellow wash on yellow laid paper, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la
Monje arrodillado (¿San Antonio?)
Charcoal on laid paper, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la
Dos ángeles niños
White chalk on dark toned laid paper, XVIII century
Calleja, Andrés de la

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