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 Valeriano Dominguez Becquer


Valeriano Dominguez Becquer  

(b Seville, 1833; d Madrid, Sept 1870).

Spanish painter. He was the son of the painter José Domínguez Bécquer (1810–41). Orphaned at an early age, he was brought up by his father’s first cousin, the painter Joaquín Domínguez Bécquer (1819–79), who undertook his artistic training. Valeriano’s first works were small costumbrista paintings of local customs and manners that were intended for a quick, cheap sale. These scenes of everyday life are often serious and pessimistic, in contrast to the more superficial treatment given to such subjects by other Sevillian artists. Bécquer’s portraits of his close friend, the English consul Francis Williams and his wife Elvira (both Seville, priv. col.; see 1974 exh. cat., nos 9 and 10), also date from this period in Seville. After the breakup of his marriage in 1862, he moved to Madrid to join his brother, the celebrated Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836–70). There, in 1864, Valeriano and his brother obtained an annual grant from the Minister of the Interior, González Bravo, which was to be used to record popular Spanish types and scenes. Between 1864 and 1868 the brothers travelled through Aragón and Castilla, Gustavo Adolfo devoting himself to writing and Valeriano painting costumbrista scenes, landscapes and monuments. In 1868, after González Bravo was dismissed, Valeriano lost his allowance and lived precariously until shortly before his death, when in 1870 he was appointed cartoonist for the recently founded review, La ilustración de Madrid. Bécquer’s works express the essence of Spanish Romanticism, and such paintings of bourgeois life as Family Interior (1856; Cádiz, Mus. Pint.) and Study of a Painter (1859; Madrid, Casón Buen Retiro) depict the serene and melancholy atmosphere of this movement. The portrait of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (c. 1862; Seville, Mus. B.A.), painted during his Madrid period, is one of the most attractive pictures of European Romanticism.


La fuente de la ermita de Sonsoles



Campesinos sorianos bailando



Portrait of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer


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