Spanish painter of genre, portraits, nudes and landscapes. Born at Eibar in the Basque Pyrenees, son of a well-known goldsmith and metal worker, and of a long line of craftsmen. At fifteen visited the Prado and copied El Greco. Spent six months in Rome in 1889, then lived mainly in Paris for several years on friendly terms with Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Rodin, Mallarmé and the Spanish painter Rusifiol. Travel in 1892 in Andalusia aroused his passion for Spanish gypsies, bullfighters and peasants, who became the subjects for many of his later pictures; influenced by the tradition of Velazquez and Goya. Achieved success as a painter more rapidly abroad than in Spain. Lived between Spain (Seville, Segovia, Madrid) and Paris, later in the Basque fishing port of Zumaya. Awarded the Grand Prix at the 1912 Rome International Exhibition and the main painting prize at the 1938 Venice Biennale; his later work included a number of society portraits. Died in Madrid.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.771