Eliseu Meifrèn i Roig

Barcelona, 1857 - Barcelona, 1940

  • Courtyard


Eliseu Meifrèn i Roig was educated at the Llotja art school in Barcelona. As a young man he travelled to Paris, almost at the time of the first presentation of Impressionism. However, it would be a long time before this movement influenced him, as he initially espoused a conventional style of landscape painting. As early as 1879 he won a gold medal at the Regional Exhibition in Valencia, and from then onwards he participated very actively in group exhibitions in Europe and South America. His first solo exhibition was at the Sala Parés in Barcelona in 1890, and he held many more in Barcelona until 1939, as well as in Buenos Aires (1900, 1902, 1903, 1907 and 1909), Montevideo (1900), Madrid (1905, 1907, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1928 and 1936), Paris (1907), New York (1916), San Sebastian (1925), Palma de Mallorca (1929) and Bilbao (1936). In Barcelona he joined the Modernista group from its very beginnings, although he never completely bowed to its influence. For a while he adhered to the so-called Luminarist School of Sitges, the town which Santiago Rusiñol discovered through him. Even though he also practiced figure painting, his work was centred mainly on landscapes and seascapes, for which he travelled widely. He naturally painted many works in Catalonia, especially Cadaqués, but also in France (during several stays), Argentina (1900), the Canary Islands (1902), Majorca (1907) – where he directed the Palma School of Fine Arts – Belgium, Italy (1910), the United States (1915–17) and many other places. Prominent among his numerous prizes are the first-place medals at the Barcelona Exhibition of Fine Arts in 1896 and at the National Exhibition in Madrid in 1906, a first prize at the Buenos Aires National Exhibition of 1910, a medal of honour at the San Francisco Exhibition in 1915, first prize at the San Diego Exhibition of 1916 and the Premio Nonell awarded in Barcelona in 1935. He was a very prolific, solid and skilful painter and stood out for his landscapes, whose realism gradually opened up to the boldness of Impressionism, although he did not fully espouse this influence until the 1920s–1930s.

Francesc Fontbona