The National Art Gallery and the Museum of Fine Arts, in Caracas, have the most important collections of Venezuela’s artistic heritage.
19th century painters
Tovar y Tovar. Mural of the battle of Carabobo
Martin Tovar y Tovar (1827-1902) is known for a series of battles painted for the National Congress. Nevertheless he was a very versatile painter who explored a wide range of themes including portraits. His historical tradition was continued by Tito Salas (1888-1974) who commemorated Bolivar’s life in huge murals, which can be seen in Bolivar´s house in Caracas.
Tito Salas. Battle of Araure with Simon Bolívar, El Libertador
It is said Tito Salas depicted himself as this lancer taking part in the battle.
Arturo Michelena (1863-1898) Colour and movement are considered important aspects of his paintings. ( i.e. paintings horses, which provided his only distraction from painting) . Despite his short life, Michelena received international recognition.
Michelena. Portrait of General Joaquin Crespo
Cristóbal Rojas. Misery
The Circle of Beaux Arts (El Círculo de Bellas Artes) was born as a protest against the teaching methods of Antonio Herrera Toro (1857-1914), director of the Academy of Arts in Caracas. The students demanded renovation because they knew important changes had taken place in Europe. This movement only lasted for a few years (1912-1916) but contributed to a new vision of art.
Antonio Herrera Toro. Selfportrait
Carlos Otero (1886-1977) was a transitional painter who hadn’t joined the new circle but who had a close artistic affinity to that movement.
Manuel Cabré (1890-1984) was a renowned Venezuelan landscape painter. He was fascinated by the monumental Ávila Mountains that surround Caracas and painted them from all angles and shapes - the reason why he is considered (“El Ávila painter”). His works have influenced painters of the new “school” such as Pedro Angel González (1901-1981) who helped spreading the style of the “Caracas School”, a new trend in painting which started in 1912 with The Circle of Beaux Arts and that continue well onto the 1940’s.
Pedro Angel González. Gamboa landscape
Frederico Brandt. Interior
Marcelo Vidal Orozco (1889-1943) Most of his paintings show shadow and contrast with light emanating from the back.
Marcelo Vidal Orozco. Landscape 1: Catia chapel
Emilio Boggio (1857-1920), Samuel (Samys) Mützner (1869-1958) and Nicolás Ferdinandov (1886-1925) are three painters with a very different background, though they all have in common their influence on the young Venezuelan painters searching new ways of artistic expression. In Boggio’s paintings one could recognize the influence of French masters like Monet and Pissarro (the latter lived in Caracas for 2 years).
Ferdinandov used painting as a way to understand the mysteries of nature. He painted marine colours in the deep Caribbean Sea. His influence was crucial in Rafael Monasterios (1884-1961), the travelling painter whose works showed different regions of the country, and Armando Reverón (1889-1954) who started modern Venezuelan painting.
Rafael Monasterios. Curarigua
César Prieto (1882-1976) is considered an academic painter. Light is a very important factor in his work.
Rafael Rámon González (1894-1975) introduced social themes in his paintings.
Rafael Rámon González
Luis Alfredo López Méndez (1901-1996) started his studies in the academy when he was only 11. His favourite topics were El Avila and market scenes.
Luis Alfredo López Méndez
Antonio Alcántara (1898-1991) left his painting career for almost 20 years but then returned later and was influenced by impressionism.
Elisa Elvira Zuloaga
Franciso Narváez (1905-1982) has a museum in Margarita Island that is worth visiting and contains his largest collection, mainly of sculptures.
Jesús Soto in Chiado, Lisbon. 2008
Jesús Soto (1923- 2005) is a leading representative of kinetic art.
Héctor Poleo (1918-1989) developed surrealism in his artwork.
Jacobo Borges (1931-1991) is considered one of the most accomplished artists of Latin America.
Carlos Cruz-Diez (1923) focused on colour, line and (viewer) perception throughout his career in order to create the idea of movement.
See also César Rengifo
Donación Miguel Otero Silva- Arte venezolano en las coleciones de la Galería de Arte Nacional Y el Museo de Anzoátegui. Fundación Galeria de Arte Nacional. Caracas, 1993
El Círculo de Bellas Artes- A Cien Años de su Creacion (1912-2012)
All the photos were taken from the net: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anexo:Obras_de_la_Galer%C3%ADa_de_Arte_Nacional
This post belongs to a series:
Art in Bogotá and Museum of Modern Art, Cartagena