Salvador Sánchez Barbudo

Jerez de la Frontera, 1857 - Rome, 1917

  • The Game of Gunpowder

    c. 1900

Salvador Sánchez Barbudo was born on 14 March 1857 in Jerez de la Frontera (Cadiz). He was one of the most important practitioners of tableautins – or “dress coat” paintings as they were to the city called in Spain – and followed the tradition of Fortuny in Rome. During his childhood he enjoyed the protection of the Marquis of Castillo and in 1875 he moved to Seville, where he attended the School of Fine Arts and became a pupil of José Villegas.

He visited Rome with Villegas en 1882, settling in the Eternal City. In 1884 he sent to Spain the monumental canvas entitled Hamlet. Última escena (“Hamlet. Last Scene”), which won him a second-place medal at that year’s National Exhibition. Sánchez Barbudo’s oeuvre consists almost wholly of tableautins and anecdotal genre scenes which were highly popular among the bourgeoisie of the day. He was extremely prolific and his works flooded the European and American markets. His canvases evidence an outstanding technical skill with their concise brushwork and powerful decorative sense. They are a highly personal combination of the legacy of Fortuny’s précieux style and a painstaking, vibrant technique of blurred forms.

Sánchez Barbudo was also an excellent watercolourist and engraver and a highly talented portraitist of folk types. He died in Rome on 28 November 1917.

José Luis Díez