Adolfo Giráldez Peñalver
Cádiz, 1840 - Barcelona, 1923
Little is known about this artist’s life. His date of birth, not long before 1840, is deduced from a statement made in 1923 by Cuenca, who notes that when he met him “back in 1900” Giráldez would have been over sixty. After his training, of which nothing is known, he was appointed an assistant instructor of landscape drawing and perspective at the Cadiz School of Fine Arts. Nevertheless, from the outset he was described as a marine painter. By 1883 – according to Ossorio – he had painted El vapor “Liniers” (“The Steamboat ‘Liniers’”) and El vapor “Antonio López” (“The Steamboat ‘Antonio López’”), “portraits” of the vessels commissioned by their owners. He also painted a Vista del puerto de Cádiz (“View of Cadiz Harbour”) that earned him a bronze medal at the Cadiz Exhibition of 1879.
In 1882 Giráldez moved to Madrid and later – before 1900 – settled in Barcelona, permanently it seems. In the Catalan capital he painted views of the Guadalquivir featuring the Giralda and the Torre del Oro. He is also reported as having met the author Francisco Cuenca, with whom he coincided “for a time” in the same boarding house. The writer thus saw for himself the artist’s outstanding skills and reported that necessity forced him to produce “a picture a day!”.
In addition to specialising in ports and ships, it has recently been stated that he appears to have been a much sought-after painter of seascapes. The latest known reference to Giráldez is in connection with another work of his, La Giralda de Sevilla, valued at 1,800 euros, on internet auction sites.