Friday, October 21, 2016
Aurelio Arteta (1879–1940) was a Spanish painter born in Bilbao. He studied at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid.
In 1905 and 1906 he travelled to Paris and in Italy, thanks to a grant from the Diputación Foral de Vizcaya. There he was influenced both by Impressionist painting and by the work of Italian Renaissance masters.
In 1911, along with other artists, he founded the Asociación de Artistas Vascos. In 1930 he was awarded the National Prize for Painting.
After the Spanish Civil War he went into exile, first in France and subsequently in Mexico, where he died in a tram accident.
His painting, somewhat idealized, though melancholic, concentrated on Basque themes, showing both rural scenes and the way that society was changed by industrialization, with townscapes along the river Nervión. His greatest work is the fresco in the vestibule of the Banco de Bilbao, in Madrid.