Ignacio Pinazo Camarlench
Valencia, 1849 - Godella, 1916
The second of six siblings, Ignacio Pinazo was orphaned at an early age. Forced to abandon his studies, he worked as a silversmith, gilder and tile painter, among other jobs. At the gilder’s workshop he struck up a friendship with José Miralles, with whom he began painting in his free time. Encouraged by Miralles, he also enrolled for free evening classes at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts in Valencia, where he was taught, among others, by José Fernández Olmos and Francisco Domingo Marqués; the influence of the latter is apparent in his initial work.
In 1872 Pinazo sat an exam for a scholarship in Rome organised by the Diputación (provincial authorities) of Valencia. Although unsuccessful, he travelled to the Italian capital with Miralles, where he met Mariano Fortuny. Four years later Pinazo again applied to the Diputación for a Roman scholarship. On this occasion his painting El desembarco de Francisco I (“The Disembarkation of Francis I”) – inspired by Velázquez – obtained the first prize.
Before departing for the Italian capital, Pinazo married Teresa Martínez. He spent four years in Rome, with short stays in other Italian cities. During this time, in addition to executing several academic paintings as a requisite of the Diputación – such as Juegos icarios (“Icarian Games”), El guardavía (“The Signal Man”), Las hijas del Cid (“Daughters of the Cid”), Fauno (“Faun”) and Últimos momentos del rey don Jaime el Conquistador (“Last Moments of King James the Conqueror”, which won a medal second-class at the 1881 General Exhibition of Fine Arts) – he turned his attention to landscape painting and followed the example of the Italian macchiaioli.
On returning to Valencia, Pinazo applied unsuccessfully for several posts as a lecturer in fine arts. Thanks to the intermediation of his former teacher José Fernández Olmos, he taught for several years as assistant lecturer in colour and composition at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts. In 1884 a cholera epidemic led him to request the protection of the banker Josep Jaumandreu. Pinazo and his family moved to the Jaumandreu residence in Bétera, near Valencia. There he painted several allegorical portraits of his patron and landscapes of the rural environment. The following year, attracted by the surroundings, the artist bought a house in the nearby town of Godella.
During the last years of the 19th century and early 20th century, Pinazo gained a reputation as one of the leading portraitists of the period for works such as Retrato del coronel Nicanor Picó (“Portrait of Colonel Nicanor Picó”, medal second-class in 1895), Retrato de José Mellado (“Portrait of José Mellado”, medal first-class in 1897) and the portrait of his son Ignacio entitled La lección de memoria (“Learning from Memory”, medal first-class in 1899). In 1896 he was elected a member of the San Carlos Academy and several years later he was appointed to the post of assistant lecturer at the Madrid School of Arts and Crafts.
During the final years his output consisted almost exclusively of small oil paintings on panel depicting the environs of Godella. They are devoid of any anecdote and convey a predominantly personal vision of the landscape. Pinazo died in Godella on 18 October 1916.
Juan Ángel López-Manzanares