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Romero, Juan Bautista

Ruzafa, Valencia (Spain), 1756? - Ruzafa, Valencia (Spain), post. 1802

After studying at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts, he unsuccessfully competed for the Studio of Flowers and Ornaments prize at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in 1783. Afterwards, in 1784, he enrolled at the School of Flowers, founded by Benet Espinós, where he won first prize in 1785. He later returned to Madrid, where, in 1796, he offered a pair of paintings of flower vases as a gift to Manuel Godoy, certainly in the hopes of attaining wealth. Between 1800 and 1802, he appears documented as a porcelain painter at the Royal Factory of the Buen Retiro. His work – incomparably superior to his limited reputation and already acknowledged by Cavestany for its quality – is of exceptional interest, both regarding the flowers, of exquisite delicacy and grace, and regarding the still lifes of sweets and desserts. These had a typical 18th-century charm, but with a precise and objective technique entirely falling within the 17th-century tradition, as is the case with Meléndez, whose work was glaringly superior to his (Luna, J. J. in: "The Spanish still life in the Prado. From Van der Hamen to Goya", Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, pp. 165-66).

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