José Gallegos y Arnosa (1857-1917)
spanish artist


Early Life
the artists early life
the artists life in Rome
Via Margutta
the artists life in Via Margutta
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paintings by the Artist
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pictures recently sold at auction
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Jose Gallegos y Arnosa


In 1898, José‚ met Constance Harding whilst she was spending the winter in Italy with her mother. Her father was a clergyman who had recently died. She was 23 years younger than José, who was 41 at the time but it did not take him long to propose marriage. They met in Assisi, where José had previously stayed with the ‘blue nuns’ and painted the mother superior – a tremendous feat in those times. They met again at Albano in the Roman hills and it was here that she at last agreed to marry him in January of the year 1900, and leave England.

The marriage lasted for 17 years, until his death, and during that time they had five children.

Theirs was a large household, for as well as the five children, there were also staff and a governess; José was fortunate in having no financial worries, unlike his fellow artists. He sold his paintings easily, and for high prices. He had a regular contract with the art dealer van Baerle in Berlin. Van Baerle was a Dutchman, and had an agreement whith José to provide him with one painting per month, but of course with his meticulous attention to the detail in his paintings he was never able to maintain that rate.

He also sold abroad to other countries; he had a client who was a private collector in St.Petersburg, and in London he sold through the Tooth Gallery. Arthur Tooth was a friend of his, and José named one of his sons after him. He also sold in the United States, and amongst the people who bought there, was William Randolph Hearst the publisher. When Hearst died, contemporary newspapers reproduced photographs of his house, and fromJosé Gallegos’ studio in Rome these we have learnt that there was a painting by José Gallegos in his bedroom.

José Gallegos’ studio in Rome

Today, his paintings can be found in galleries in Germany, Russia, North and South America, and even in the Modern Art Gallery of Madrid. Strangely, he rarely exhibited in Rome, and very few of his pictures were sold there. He once had a painting disfigured in an exhibition in Rome, through he believed, the jealousy of fellow Italian painters, and consequently he never exhibited there again.José Gallegos y Arnosa with his children

He was awarded gold medals medals at a number of exhibitions, notably in Venice and at the International Art exhibition of Berlin in 1891, where the gold medal was awarded by William II the German Kaiser.

José Gallegos y Arnosa with his children

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