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 Jose Vela Zanetti  (1913 - 1999)

About: Jose Vela Zanetti


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Lived/Active: Spain      Known for: murals, portrait, still live, landscape and religious themed painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Jose Vela Zanetti
1913 (Milagros)
1999 (Burgos)


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murals, portrait, still live, landscape and religious themed painting

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Biography from Auctionata:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

José Vela Zanetti is one of the most meaningful Spanish artists of the 20th Century.  A native of Burgos in northern Spain, Zanetti is also known as a representative of ‘Muralismo’, a special type of wall painting.  He completed his art studies in Madrid with his teacher, José Ramon Zaragoza.  An educational journey brought him to Italy in 1933. 

The Spanish Civil War, which broke out in 1936, was to mark him in a cruel manner, because his father was executed because of his socialist political views.  In 1939, this event brought Zanetti into exile to the Dominican Republic.  There, his great success as a painter and ‘muralist‘ started.  He received over 100 commissions for wall paintings from public institutions such as libraries, government buildings and banks. 

Since 1945, Zanetti also worked as a lecturer at the National Art Academy in Santo Domingo, where he became director in 1949.  With a Guggenheim fellowship in 1951, he spent several years in New York City in the 1950s, where Zanetti's international career began.  Also his most well-known work for the UN-headquarters: a wall painting with the title ‘The struggle of humanity for a long-lasting peace(La Lucha del Hombre por la Paz) was created in New York. 

Zanetti spent the end of his life in his birthplace Milagros in the province of Burgos.  His later work shows a mixture of portraits, still lives, landscapes and religious themes.

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