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 Luis Egidio (Eugenio) Meléndez  (1716 - 1780)



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Lived/Active: Italy/Spain      Known for: still life painting, miniatures, landscape

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Ad Code: 1
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Oranges, nuts, spices, boxes of sweetmeats, a jug and a cask on a table
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Described as "the leading Spanish still life painter of the 18th century", Luis Meléndez was of a family of prominent painters.  However, he suffered the end of a promising career because his father, Francisco, got 'crosswise' with the art Academy in Madrid which he had help found in 1744.  As a result of both Francisco and Luis ridiculing the Academy Director, Luis failed to get any court appointment that would bring him income because he along with his father was expelled from the Academy.  As a result, he died in poverty. 

However, during this period, which was the last 20 years of his life, he painted miniatures and about 100 still lifes, many of them intended to be hung as pairs.  Some of them had landscape backgrounds.  However, in those days still lifes were regarded as purely a decorative genre, and, although the Academy condoned still-life painting, it did not carry the stature of more ttaditional painting.

Luis Melendez was born in Naples in 1716, when it was under Spanish control, and shortly after, he moved to Spain.  He studied at the Academy, and the self portrait he did at the Academy in 1746 was judged very skillful.

The National Gallery of London,

The National Gallery of Ireland

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