Tomás Muñoz Lucena

Cordoba, 1860 - Madrid, 1943

  • Tending the Turkeys

    c. 1900

Tomás Muñoz Lucena was born into a family of traders in Cordoba on 6 May 1860. He began studying art at a very early age at the school of the painter Rafael Romero Barros, also of Cordoba. Later on a scholarship awarded by the Diputación (provincial council) allowed him to move to Madrid to further his studies. There he was a pupil of the San Fernando Royal Academy and of the painter Federico de Madrazo. In 1884 he sat the public examinations for a scholarship at the Accademia di Spagna in Rome. His application was unsuccessful but he was awarded a grant by the Cordoba authorities to spend a period in the Italian capital.

From Rome he submitted a canvas entitled Ofelia (“Ophelia”) to the National Exhibition of 1884, but failed to win any prizes. However, he received a second-place medal in the National Exhibition of 1887 for the history painting El entierro de Álvarez de Castro (“The Burial of Álvarez de Castro”) and also, in 1890, for Las lavanderas (“The Washerwomen”). He likewise won a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900, where he showed Idilio (“Idyll”) and Tending the Turkeys. The following year he was awarded a consideration of first-place medal for the canvas Plegaria en las ermitas de Córdoba (“Prayer in the Hermitages of Cordoba”).

From 1888 onwards he devoted himself to teaching as head of drawing at the Institute of Cordoba and in 1890 he moved to Granada, where he spent most of his life. In 1924 his post took him to Seville, where he lived until his retirement in 1930, when he settled permanently in Madrid until his death in 1943.

Muñoz Lucena contributed as an illustrator to the magazine Blanco y Negro, with genre scenes of everyday life in Cordoba and Granada. In recognition of his career he was invested a commander of the order of Isabella the Catholic and awarded the grand crosses of Charles III and Alfonso XII.

Pilar Miguel Egea