Manuel Blesa - 'Anciano', Study of an Old Man

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Emanating spirit and character, this portrait depicts a well-dressed old man inspired by figures of the artist's childhood who had spent their lives labouring under the sun in the fields of Ariño, Spain. His smart attire highlights the respect of the artist for these hardworking, determined individuals who inspired him as a child. Blesa paints every line and crease on the subject's face with immense care and admiration for these years of experience.

Born in Teruel, Spain in 1945, as a young boy Manuel Blesa spent his summers working in the fields of his hometown and the cold winters working in the olive groves. Ariño, the birthplace of the artist, was at the time a very small, poor and remote village whose inhabitants were mostly farmers and coal miners, which Blesa left at the age of fifteen to earn a living through any means he could as a hairdresser, waiter, guitarist and even an antiques restorer. This tireless perseverance and hard work which characterised Blesa's early life was a strong inspiration for the rawness and passion of his artwork in his later career.

Pursuing his dream of becoming an artist, Blesa went on to be trained in Zaragoza by Alejandro Cañada, and at the prestigious La Llotja academy in Barcelona. He began his career as a portrait painter in Sitges, Barcelona, where he met his wife, Huberta - a fellow art lover of firm character. The pair went on to have two children, Manuel and Amaya.

Inspired by his childhood surroundings, Blesa developed his skill as a landscape painter, producing masterpieces depicting the dry, sterile landscape of Teurel, as well as portraits of the wrinkled faces of old workers who had spent their lives labouring in the fields. As his career progressed, his work drew attention to memories of everyday objects which found themselves in his still life paintings. Frequently depicting pottery, porcelain, dolls and other small objects, these paintings showed a remarkable evolution in style with an outstanding level of realism.

Artist Name: Manuel Blesa (b. 1945)

Approx Date:

Frame Size: H 40 cm x W 35 cm x D 4 cm

Board Size: H 27 cm x W 22 cm 

Medium: Oil on board

Condition: Good

SKU: 1227

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