Prudencio Herreros Amat
Jumilla, 1873 - Valencia, 1934
This Murcia-born artist is one of the great "unknowns" of late 19th- and early 20th-century genre painting. Although born in Jumilla, at an early age he settled in Valencia, where he spent most of his career as an artist painting the landscapes and folk of the province's fertile Huerta region. In all likelihood Herreros's predilection for genre themes was due, at least at the beginning, to the Murcia master José María Sobejano, who influenced not only him but many more painters of his generation, including Pedro Roig Asuar, Miguel Díaz Spottorno, Antonio Nicolás and Anastasio Martínez.
However, when it came to typically Valencian themes combining local people with the narrative and decorative characteristics that made the anecdotal a crucial element in the rendering of his scenes, Herreros followed in the footsteps of Bernardo Ferrándiz and, above all, of Joaquín Agrasot.
Herreros's style reflects the containment of academic painting and certain aspects of the rapid brush stroke style typical of Valencian painting. However, it had little in common with the early 20th-century landscape painters' preoccupation with light.
At the 1903 National Exhibition Herreros won a medal of honour for Barraca valenciana ("Valencian Farmhouse"); for Bautizo valenciano ("Valencian Baptism"), which he presented to the Infanta Isabella, he received the title "His Majesty's Gentleman".
Herreros began to make a name for himself elsewhere in Spain and on 27 July 1906, the "Bilbao Notes" section of the local newspaper Noticiero Bilbaíno reported that "the Valencian artist Prudencio Herrero Amat" had received a commission from the Bilbao Council for two carts for the local Coso Blanco festivities, which thus demonstrates his skill as a decorative artist.
The next news report on the painter situates him in the Valencia area, where he is known to have been buried in Burjassot in 1934.
Alejandro Villar Torres