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Chile's Fine Arts' History

In order to present Chiles art from its origins to the present day, we have to make a preordination which enables us to offer, if not a complete knowledge, at least the most relevant landmarks.

This summary will be divided into four large spans:
  • Colonial Period.
  • Generation of the 13
  • The Independents
  • The Montparnasse
  • Group and followers
  • The generation of 1940
  • New tendencies.

From one period to the other, there were sudden leaps which were closely related to major political, economic and cultural changes occurring in the country.
Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & CultureMuseo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture

Colonial period

This is the term used to describe the various works of art created in the Americas from the 16th to 18th centuries. Mediaeval in origin, it was brought from Spain to the colonies by many different artists who established workshops in the main administrative cities of the Empire. Their pupils were mixed - locally born Spaniards, Indians and half-casts. Their subjects were at once religious and didactic, dealing with different episodes in the life of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the most popular saints.
Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture18th century frescoes depicting hell in the interior of the Parinacota Church
These workshops continued to function after the original European craftsmen had vanished, conveying the glory of God through their native vision of the universe in a unique and highly expressive style. European techniques and models were adapted to the evangelical role of the Catholic Church. Painting featured the chiaroscuro then favored by the Spanish masters - Velázquez, Murillo - and the ltalian and the Flemish schools. Outstanding were the series of pictures which served both an evangelical role and as decoration for churches and monasteries. These are collective works, painted by several assistants under the direction of one master. The influence of the School of Seville - especially Juan Martínez Montañés -created sculptures that were a naturalist expression of the Calvary and the Crucifixion, and a gentle representation of intimate Christian scenes, such as the Nativity, Christ as a child, or cherubs. Colonial art reached its zenith in the 18th Century when the workshops could hardly keep abreast of their commissions. Plaster casts allowed rapid assembley of faces for sculptures; wooden frames replaced heavy carvings - frames that were also used for hollow three-dimensional carvings - greatly facilitating the transport of large works of art. In the remote Captaincy General of Chile there was little artistic development. Works of art were imported from the leading schools, particularly those of Cuzco and Quito. As from the middle of the 18th Century the colonial aristocracy slowly began to change their orientation as a result of the ideas of the French Enlightenment. Art no longer exclusively followed Spanish fashions nor was limited to religious themes. These ideas also filtered into Chile, where there was relative peace with the Araucanian tribes and a better economic situation. A European-inspired art workshop developed at the Bavarian Jesuit mission at Calera de Tango at the beginning of the 18th Century featuring the delicate curves of the German rococo style. Ornate silverwork, clocks, sculptures, paintings were produced in the mission workshop. This ended with the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767. Principal centers of colonial art in South America during the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Generation of the 13

The Generation of the 13, also called of centenary, will be characterized by the resurgence of a new problematic, two currents will appear, one is neon-realistic and the other subjectivist. In this generation of the 13 is necessary to give emphasis to: Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor (1865 - 1960)
Influenced by the Spaniards he will pass on a remarkable influence to the generation of the 13, with his vernacular and exotic contribution. his black and shady painting with wide brush-strokes that trims and draws volumes where the subject is predominant. this is the inheritance of a remarkable generation of students (Exequiel Place, Guillermo Vergara, Enrique Bertrix, Fernando Rocks, Alfredo Wolves and others). Arthur Gordon (1883 - 1944) One of most outstanding, by its colorful plasticity and variable contrast, essentially thematic, caught the expressive force of men and women of extreme poverty (" pobreza" , " huelga") of ordinary Chileans. He fragmented the color and populated his paintings with a variety of shades, product of a rich brush that imprinted dimensionality and a peculiar atmosphere to his work. Exequiel Plaza (1892 - 1944)
His foundations originate from academic realism, his thematic is inspired by reproductions of nature in a robust and strong way; he is considered the painter of the Bohemian who unites Chilean painting to the European plastic. In spite of not having much discipline his drawing is firm and secure obtaining the right effects in his landscape (Woman of town). It would be necessary to emphasize in this period: Francisco Mayor (1883 - 1925), Julio Ortíz de Zárate (1885 - 1946), Enrique Wolves (1886 - 1918), Abelardo Bustamante (1888 - 1934), Alfredo Wolves (1890 - 1956), Fernando Rocks (1890 -), Dark Genaro (1890 - 1956), Guillermo Vergara (1890 -) Pedro Moon (1894 - 1956), Enrique Bertrix (1895 - 1914). With greater persistence in the naturalism in-group that marginalizes and reaches the present time, among them one stands out: Ricardo Richont-Brunet (1866 - 1946), Rafael Strap (1872 - 1959), Pedro Reszka (1872 - 1960), Julio Forna Calderón (1874 - 1946), Benito Oak thicket (1880 - 1964), Jose Caracci (1887 -), Dora Puelma (1892 - 1972), Luis Strozzi (1895 - 1962) and Pedro Subercaseaux (1885 - 1955), fecundo, dedicated to the historical painting, sublimated the personages injecting to them the purest sense to vernácular, included the field of the thematic nun (" Murals of N. Mrs of Los Angeles "). Its correct drawing perfectly reproduces all the elements of its males (" Procesión of Mr. de Mayo" , " The first misa in Chile"). It would be possible to emphasize Pacheco Altamirano in this group (1903 - 1978), force painter and gestualidad, instinctive, I proliferate, its works are inspired by creeks of fishermen, notables are its subjects of Angelmó. (" Botes"). Miguel Venegas (1907 -),teacher of remarkable technical perfection, dominated many of them and were his disciples who have given testimony of the quality of their formation (Brave Claudius, Peter Von Arteus, Jorge Mud, Horacio Grouse, Humberto Zaccarelli and others).
Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & CulturePascuense Autor: Pedro Olmos
Técnica: Óleo sobre tela

The Independents

Its characteristic has been the diversity, the distance of the clans and groups, the shut up work and fertilizes, is born at the end of century XIX and covers the majority with the tendencies until the cubism. They honor Luis Herrera Guevara (1891 - 1945), primitive in its form, ingenuous, full of simplicity and truth, its painting is ingenuous exchanging the nature, disarticulating the forms with great expressive intensity, as he sees a boy them. (" Iglesia" , " The beach of Viña" , " Autorretrato"). Hermenia Arrate (1895 - 1941), Alfonso Vila (1897 - 1963), Byron Giyoux (1901 -), Juana Lecaros (1920 -) are between which emphasizes more.

The Montparnasse Group and Followers

This group takes name from Montparnasse, as sign of revolt and renovation, almost all lived in Paris and to his return to Santiago they sent manifestos and they were revealed against the existing academismo. His main promoter was Camilo Mori (1896 - 1973), changing artist, becomes cubista, superrealist, his art is in force by the intuitive thing and rational, its colorful one is done sensual, filled with paste, analyzing its work permanently, towards years 60 looked for the abstraction. It was National prize of Art. (" The Orador" , " Sueño"). Jose Perotti (1898 - 1956), included diverse sorts of the plastic expression (painting, sculpture, ceramics, engraving). The substitute of its characteristics is the drawing and the expresivas volumes that accentuate them part of their work. National prize of Art in 1953. Ines Puyó, (1906 -), Courteous Ana (1906 -), Pablo Vidor (1892 - 19), Oscar Trepte (1890 - 1969).
Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Vista del taller hacia el cerro Santa Lucía Autor: Carlos Pedraza
Técnica: Óleo sobre tela
Colección: Particular

The Generation of 1940

Closely bound to the political changes (In front popular 1938) and to the faculty of Beautiful Arts that resurge with the conduction of dean Luis Oyarzún (1920 - 1973), who will form stops of the generation of the 40, painter, teacher and critic. The caudillo of this generation considers itself to Pablo Burchard, professor of many of them, excellent painter leaves his track by pedagogical inheritance especially. Notable in this period was also the influence of Camilo Mori, that exerted a tutelaje of principles on the group. The Official Hall 1941, called in that then Latin American, emphasizes to professors, teachers (Montparnasse Group) and disciples (Generation of the 40), is a little while culminating where it is moderate the quality and professionalism of the generation of the 40, between whom excel: Israel Nibbles, Fernando Morals, Carlos Pedraza, Manuel Quevedo, Alfredo Gorse, Raul Santelices, Aída Poblete, Ximena Cristi, among others. Israel Nibbles (1909), rich in chromatic ranges that tend to the abstraction, transfigura the forms and gives one renewed conception of the subjects in which the landscape plays an important role. In 1972 it obtained the National prize of Art. (" Loicas de Angol" , " The Pampilla" , " Rojo" landscape;). Gregorio of the Source (1916), sensual and chromatic painter, creates organic forms evolving to a cubism of formal tonalities extra. Its muralista work is important that a deep social sense passes on (Murals of Station of Conception and School of Mexico de Chillán). Sergio Montecino (1916): Expresionista with colorful that speaks more of sensations than of an objective resultant, is one of the exponents that with more persistence a coherent and faithful proposal to a style has maintained. (" My Familia" , " Flores" , " Autorretrato"), National prize of Art in 1993. It would be necessary to also emphasize in this current to Carlos Pedraza (1913), Ezequiel Fontecilla (1916), Ximena Cristi (1920), Octavio Acuña Solano (1925), Jorge Mud (1926), Ernesto Barreda (1927), Claudius I gave Girolamo (1929), Hardy Wistuba, Daskan Takings (1931).

New Tendencies

This generation must wake up delayed due to the 1939 war. This to wake up it can pay attention around 1948, is a movement that marches in tune with the abstract surrealistic tendencies of Europe. They belong to this current, Carlos Face (1931 - 1953), Jose Venturelli (1924), Pedro Wolves (1918), Nemesio Antúnez (1918 - 1993), Carmen Silva, Ivan Lambert (1930), Jose de Rokha (1927), Pablo Burchard, son (1919), Ernesto Barreda (1927), Fernando Marco and Julio Esca'mez (1926).
Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture S/T Autor: Voluspa Jarpa
Colección: Privada
Being those that emphasize more:
Nemesio Antúnez (1918 - 1993): It dealed with subjects the popular daily life and evolved to aggressive and disarmed surrealismo. (" Valparaíso" , " The Pinceles" , " The Calle"). Matta Robert (1912): He can consider one of the painters of international fame of abstract structuring and more famous psychic and Metaphysical representation by the quality and depth of his work. Their works inspired by the psychic states of the subconscious mind extend to incommensurable cosmic dimensions, live and it goes ahead to the states and historical events with his robots, machines, atoms, etc., (" Composición" , " Mazurka" , " Living" lists to the;). A current comes off these new tendencies outstanding by its abstraccionismo and its psychic vision of the plastic configuration, in her is possible to also emphasize a: Enrique Zañartu (1921), Opazo Robert (1935), Peace Subercaseaux. Last Decades (1950 - 1980) Two groups stand out in this period of the Chilean painting, the group " Forma and Espacio" , that commands Ramon Vergara Grez and the group " Rectángulo" that it is characterized to emphasize the form and the color, expressing an optical reality, moved away of any objective representativeness of the world. This constructivism of intellectual priority honors artists like: Elsa Bolivar (1930), Carlos Alarcón (1900), Kurt Herdan (1923), Carmen Piemonte (1932), Matilde Perez, Robinson Dwells (1947), Ernesto Muñoz (1945). Other that approaches this group in some instance are Jaime Bendersky (1922), whose work is a abstraccionismo fusion, geometrismo and magical realism that concludes with a hyperrealism. It is possible to emphasize especially in this period to Mario Carreño (1913), Been born in Cuba and based in a period of stagnation, returns to the surrealistic, onírico figurativismo. (" Apple evadida" , " It is present at of the Poeta"). The group Form and Space will contribute with new names within the most rigorous structuring standing out: Miguel Crosgrove (1944), Gabriel Chellew (1934), Red Benito (1959) and Carlos Ortúzar (1934). New names are appearing in the decade of the 60, between which they stand out more is necessary to indicate a: Youngest child Lira (1948), Brave Claudius (1937). Maria Mohor (1931), Ernesto Fontecilla (1938), Eugene Dittborn, Adolph Couve (1949), Juan Davila, Eugene Téllez (1939), Vivian Scheihino, Cecilia Gálvez, Jaime Bendersky, Luis Tejeda (1945), Gonzalo Cienfuegos (1950), Pedro Vernal Troncoso (1937), Humberto Zaccarelli (1936).

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
"St. Francis renounces his worldly goods".Series on the Life of St. Francis. workshop of Basilio de Santa Cruz. c. 1670-1680. Oil on cloth. 192x288 cm. museo sanfrancisco

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
A sequence on the life of the Virgin; anonymous; School of Cuzco; 17th century. Oil on cloth; 180 x 251 cm. museo sanfrancisco Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture "St. Francis sets out for the wars ". |
Series on the Life of St. Francis. From the workshop of Basilio de Santa Cruz c. 1670-1680 291 x 191 cm. museo sanfrancisco Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Altar of the Virgin of the Candelaria.
Wood, mid 18th century, in a transitional style between baroque and neoclassicism. It belonged to the chapel in the San Borja college until it was transfered to the Chapel of James the Apostle in the cathedral at the end of that century. A hundred years later, it was taken to the Chapel of Ossa which was built about 1862 in the gardens of Conventillo. In 1878 it was given by the Archbishop’s office to the Franciscans for their headquarters in Chile.

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Arthur Gordon (1883 - 1944) .

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
La zamacueca Autor: Arturo GordonTécnica: Óleo sobre tela
Colección: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Exequiel Plaza (1892 - 1944) .

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
El pintor bohemio Autor: Exequiel Plaza Técnica: Óleo sobre tela
Colección: Pinacoteca, U. De Concepción

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Camilo Mori (1896 - 1973).

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Mujer en azul Autor: Camilo Mori
Técnica: Óleo sobre tela
Colección: Particular

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture

Carlos Pedraza

Chile Art History - LAKMA Latin American Art & Culture
Jarrón Isabelino Autor: Carlos Pedraza
Técnica: Óleo sobre tela
Colección: Pinacoteca, U. De Concepción
"Adoration of the Shepherds".

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