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Haes, Carlos de

Bruselas, 27.1.1826 - Madrid, 17.6.1898

Born in Belgium, Carlos de Haes moved to Malaga with his family when he was nine years old. There he began studying art with Luis de la Cruz (1776-1850), a known painter of portraits and miniatures from the Canary Islands. On a trip back to Brussels in 1850, he became a disciple of Joseph Quinaux (1822-1895) and discovered landscape painting from the schools of Namur, Tervueren and Termonde. That is where he developed the artistic style that led to his renown in Spain.
Haes returned to Spain in 1856, coinciding with the first of the National Fine Arts Exhibitions. And the works he presented there were quite successful. That positive reception, as well as his discovery of the spectacular scenery around the Monasterio de Piedra in Aragon convinced him to make Spain his permanent home, as did his appointment to the post of senior professor of landscape painting at the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando when it became available after the death of Genaro Pérez Villaamil.
Haes’s style marked a turning point in Spanish landscape painting. He based his work on a much more direct contact with nature, with frequent field trips to take notes and sketch landscapes. This provided him with a much more realistic perspective than that of his predecessors. And in his classes he encouraged his students to visit the countryside and to study natural landscapes like the ones around Madrid. He, too, was a frequent participant in those trips.
Renewed success at the National Exhibition of 1860 led to his appointment as a full-fledged academician, where his acceptance speech proposed a theory on the origins of landscape. Other art texts by Haes address technical and theoretical concerns with the same clarity of perspective and commitment to teaching that characterized his entire life. During the 1860s and 1870s, he visited numerous parts of the Iberian Peninsula, developing a particular fondness of the interior of the Spanish Levant and Cantabria. On these trips, he sought out new landscapes to use as direct references. His notes and sketches from these trips later informed the large-format canvases that he painted in his Madrid studio. These activities are the basis for The Mancorbo Canal in Picos de Europa, where his plein air experience of this geography is still somewhat subject to academic compositional formulas that explain the presence of human figures and the idealized enlargement of the landscape’s true features.
After his wife and daughter died in 1877, Haes began visiting other part of Europe, accompanied by Jaime Morera (1854-1927), one of his closest disciples. Together, they traveled to the Gulf of Gascony, Brittany and Normandy in search of the painter’s birthplace. During that period, his conception took a darker and more melancholy turn, undoubtedly due to the loss of his entire family. Around 1887, the illness that would take his life eleven years later led him to abandon both painting and visits to the countryside. As his condition worsened, he was cared for by his disciples -especially Jaime Morera- and after his death, the abundant sketches, drawings and engravings in his studio were bequeathed to the recently founded Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno of Madrid. They are now at the Museo del Prado (G. Navarro, C. in: El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 473-474).

His portrait by Federico de madrazo y Kuntz is catalogued at the Museo del Prado as P04464.

Artworks (370)

Cercanías del Monasterio de Piedra (Aragón)
Oil on paper attached to canvas, Ca. 1856
Haes, Carlos de
Nuévalos (Aragón)
Oil on canvas attached to canvas, Ca. 1856
Haes, Carlos de
Puesta de sol (Aragón)
Oil on paper attached to cardboard, Ca. 1856
Haes, Carlos de
Nuévalos (Aragón)
Oil on paper attached to cardboard, Ca. 1856
Haes, Carlos de
Arboleda (Monasterio de Piedra)
Oil on paper attached to canvas, Ca. 1856
Haes, Carlos de
Palm Grove (Elche)
Oil on paper attached to cardboard, Ca. 1861
Haes, Carlos de
Puesta de sol (Elche)
Oil on paper attached to canvas, Ca. 1861
Haes, Carlos de
Una alquería (Elche)
Oil on paper attached to canvas, Ca. 1861
Haes, Carlos de
Palm Threes at Elche
Oil on cardboard, Ca. 1861
Haes, Carlos de

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