Ramón José Izquierdo y Garrido
Seville, 1873 - 1931
Ramón José Izquierdo y Garrido completed his higher secondary studies at the Royal College of Alfonso XII in El Escorial, where he also began to train as a painter. He subsequently copied the great Spanish painters of the 17th century in the Museo del Prado. He took his degree in engineering in Bilbao and in 1917 secured the post of professor of topography and geodesy at the Central School of Industrial Engineers in Madrid through a public examination.
In the field of the arts, he cultivated sculpture, painting and engraving. As a sculptor he was a pupil of Francisco Reguera of Cartagena. Prominent among his first sculptures are the high-relief entitled Libertas or Libertad (“Freedom”) which was shown in the sculpture section of the General Exhibition of Fine Arts of 1895 and earned him the cross of Isabella the Catholic, and a head of Christ entitled Tengo sed (“I Am Thirsty”), which was highly acclaimed by critics. The records of the National Exhibition refer to him as living in Cartagena and, owing perhaps to a typographic error, as Ramón S. Izquierdo.
Izquierdo was a pupil of Manuel Wssel de Guimbarda in Seville. Following his apprenticeship with Wssel, during which he probably studied history and genre painting as other pupils such as Manuel García Rodríguez and José Rico Cejudo had done, Ramón José Izquierdo completed his formative period in Paris, moving there in 1898. The following year he was awarded a gold medal diploma at the Académie Parisienne des Exposants. José Cascales Muñoz points out the influence the Impressionists and luminarists had on him, especially the painters Henri Martin and Tranquillo Cremona.
Like most of the artists of his day, Izquierdo took part in the Spanish competitions, albeit late in his life and less frequently. The catalogue of the National Exhibition of 1930 refers to him as a “pupil of the National School of Graphic Arts” and as living in Madrid. Francisco Esteve Botey, a professor of the Higher School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving in Madrid, mentions in his Historia del grabado, published in 1935, an Izquierdo “fond of mezzotint engraving” who could be related to the artist in question.
In 1922 Izquierdo was appointed a member of the Société Libre d’Artistes Françaises, an institution which published the Bulletin de la Société Libre des Artistes from 1883 to 1934, and a representative in Spain of the Société Amicale des Paysagistes Françaises. He also held the post of critical editor of the magazine Lux, which was first published in Paris in 1928, and of La Correspondencia de España.
Like his master Wssel, Ramón José Izquierdo y Garrido particularly cultivated portraiture. Outstanding examples from this genre are the portrait of the daughter of Danguy des Déserts characterised as “Manon”, that of a young Spanish lady painted au plein air and that of Sara Sendagorta (in blues and whites), which was most probably influenced by fin-de-siècle French painting. He also painted La conversión de san Agustín (“The Conversion of St Augustine”) for the church of La Consolación in Madrid.
His oeuvre is characterised by a pronounced realism and a clear preference for figures – features highly typical of the period – in a style also influenced by illustration and poster art.
Eduardo Alaminos López