Joaquín Domínguez Bécquer
Seville, 1817 - Seville, 1883
Joaquín Domínguez Bécquer was born in Seville on 25 September 1817. After completing his primary studies, he attended the School of Fine Arts in his native city and the studio of his cousin José Domínguez Bécquer (1805–1841), where he specialised in genre painting and collaborated with José in paintings depicting local customs that were mainly sold to foreigners. He took part in exhibitions held in the city by institutions such as the Lyceum (1838, 1840...). With well-deserved fame, he is recorded in 1845 as being in charge of the restoration work on the Reales Alcázares of Seville, a responsibility that earned him the post of court painter to Queen Isabella II five years later. These merits led him to be elected a member of the Seville Royal Academy of Fine Arts, where he was a lecturer, director of drawing and honorary member in 1847. Nine years later he was awarded the first prize and gold medal at the exhibition held by the institution at the museum. In 1866 he was elected a member of the San Fernando Royal Academy in Madrid.
Joaquín Domínguez Bécquer had close ties with the Duke and Duchess of Montpensier and worked as drawing instructor to their children and painted for them, chiefly portraits, at their palace of San Telmo.
His genre paintings belonged to major collections of the day and were shown at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1855 and the following year at the first National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid. He was also a prolific history painter, as borne out by the fact that in 1860 Seville council commissioned him to paint La paz de Wad-Ras (“The Peace of Wad-Ras”) commemorating the war with Morocco in 1859–60. In order to document his work he travelled to Morocco and was awarded the Cross of Charles III on his return.
He died in Seville on 26 July 1879.
Gerardo Pérez Calero