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Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de

Rome (Italy), 24.7.1841 - Versailles (France), 15.9.1920

After preliminary studies with his grandfather and father, portrait painters José and Federico de Madrazo, Raimundo attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, where his fellow students included Martín Rico, Rosales and Palmaroli, among others. He soon left for Paris, which became his primary residence from then on. There his work received the early but decisive influence of French academicism. While he studied with Leon Coignet (1794-1880), close contact with his father-in-law, Mariano Fortuny, was crucial in his work’s move towards bourgeois realism.
At the beginning of his career, he made history paintings to establish his academic bona fides—The Death of Don Lope de Haro at las Cortes de Alfaro (New York, the Hispanic Society of America) and The Arrival in Spain of the Body of Saint James the Apostle (Seville, private collection)—but he also received some important commissions, including a ceiling for the palace of the Duke of Riánsares in Paris. This work was related to the large canvas conceived by Fortuny that depicted Marie Christine’s Vow in 1833. He also painted especially brilliant tableautin scenes that clearly reflect Fortuny’s influence.
During the Franco-Prussian War Raimundo de Madrazo aided the Red Cross in its work in Paris, and his true professional ascent began shortly thereafter, with exhibitions in the most important London and Paris galleries and the acquisition of his art, which was very close to Fortuny’s, by major bourgeois collectors throughout Europe and America. His only son, Cocó de Madrazo (1875-1934) was born in 1875, and he, too, became a painter. As Raimundo’s life grew increasingly sophisticated and exquisite he began to weave a network of cosmopolitan friends that included all of the leading figures in Paris’s grand monde, most of whom appear in his portraits.
And so, while he also worked in other genres, Raimundo de Madrazo’s greatest success and international renown came from his extraordinary capacity to portray the socially privileged in an elegant and refined manner. Among the Spanish elite, he portrayed The Duchess of Alba (Madrid, Liria Palace), Queen Marie Christine of Austria (Paris, Spanish Embassy) and The Marquis of Casa Riera (Madrid, Fundación Carlos de Amberes), but he also painted likenesses of other Europeans, such as the Marchioness of Hervey (Paris, Musée d’Orsay); Latin Americans, including Josefa Manzanedo e intentas, II Marchioness of Manzanedo (P02603), and North Americans such as the President of the United States’ half-brother and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Phelps Taft (Cincinnati, Taft Museum). And, of course, he painted his friends, including Ramón de Errazu (P02614).
Still, many of Raimundo de Madrazo’s best-known paintings are anecdotal genre scenes whose central figure is Aline Masson, his model for over fifteen years. Dressed or nude, sporting a white mantilla or disguised as a “Pierrette,” she appears in many of Madrazo’s more commercial works, most of which are frivolous in their subject matter but extremely well executed, fresh and sensual. These paintings seem to capture her lively, smiling youth with an awareness of the unsustainable decadence of late-bourgeois realism.
Raimundo had been living in Versailles since 1910, accompanied by his wife, María Hahn, who was also the brother of well-known musician Reynaldo Hahn. His work was exhibited at the world’s leading galleries and following his death, the Royal Academy of London, of which he was a member, held an exhibition to honor his memory (G. Navarro, C. in: El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 478-479).

His portrait by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz at the Museo del Prado is catalogued as P07662.

Artworks (23)

Ataúlfo
Oil on canvas, 1858
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The Painter Benito Soriano Murillo
Oil on canvas, 1863 - 1867
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The Painter Eduardo Zamacois
Oil on canvas, 1863 - 1864
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The Printmaker Bernardo Rico
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1870
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
El pintor Juan Rivas y Ortiz
Oil on canvas, 1865
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The San Miguel courtyard in Seville
Oil on panel, 1868
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
Pool in the Gardens of the Real Alcázar, Seville
Oil on panel, 1868
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The Pavilion of Charles V in the Gardens of the Alcázar of Seville
Oil on panel, 1868
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
Aline Masson with a White Mantilla
Oil on canvas, Ca. 1875
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de

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