Baldomer Galofre i Giménez
Reus, 1849 - Barcelona, 1902
Baldomer Galofre i Giménez was born in Reus and his family later moved to Barcelona, where he studied at the Llotja art school as a pupil of Ramon Martí i Alsina. He later furthered his studies in Madrid at the San Fernando School of Fine Arts and, after a short stay in Salamanca, entered the public competitions held by the Spanish government for a place at the Accademia di Spagna in Rome, being awarded second place in the landscape specialisation.
In 1874, by then in the Eternal City, he attended classes at the Accademia Chigi and studied nude painting from life. He was an admirer of Fortuny and followed him to Naples when he was at Portici, becoming one of the foremost continuers of Fortuny’s luminarist style. During his stays in southern Italy he also befriended Domenico Morelli, the Palizzi brothers and Eduardo d’Albono, among others, who influenced his concept of landscape painting.
Owing to a series of clashes with José Casado del Alisal, the director of the Accademia di Spagna, his grant was withdrawn for six months. He exhibited the works produced during his last year as a scholarship student at his studio, achieving widespread acclaim among the city’s artists and critics. With his dealer Adolphe Goupil, who had also represented Fortuny, he achieved major international successes. He also exhibited at the Paris Salon and at the Royal Academy in London. In 1884 he travelled to Barcelona to show his works at the Sala Parés and returned to Rome to continue his career as a painter except for long stays in Naples and Venice. From that point onwards Galofre travelled constantly to Spain and held successful exhibitions in Milan, Turin and Rome. By about 1890 he had settled in Spain and painted chiefly genre scenes. During this period he travelled around the whole of the Peninsula in order to capture Spanish customs and publish his pictures in a book entitled La España pintoresca. Reviews of the time, chiefly La Ilustración Artística, provided information about this project and published many of his drawings.
His exhibitions in Munich, Vienna, Berlin, London, Paris and Rome are famous. He died in 1902 at the age of fifty-three. The following month the Barcelona Museum of Fine Arts paid tribute to him.
Carlos González and Montse Martí