Vicente López y Portaña

Dates1772 - 1850
BornValencia, Spain
DiedMadrid, Spain

In addition to painting portraits of nearly every notable person in Spain during the first half of the 1800s, Vicente López y Portaña also painted religious, allegorical, and mythological scenes. Many historians consider him one of the two most important Spanish painters of his time, second only to Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. López began formally studying in Valencia at the age of thirteen; after winning numerous prizes, he received a scholarship to study in Madrid. He returned to Valencia in 1790 and subsequently became vice-director of painting at the academy where he had studied as a boy. In 1814 López was called to the court of Ferdinand VII, the Spanish king, and received a royal appointment. Shortly thereafter he was jointly appointed first court painter along with Goya. He spent the remainder of his life in Madrid painting portraits of statesmen, academics, and other important figures, as well as dramatic and emotional religious subjects.