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 Cristobal Rojas  (1857 - 1890)

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Lived/Active: Venezuela      Known for: painting, decoration

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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.

Cristóbal Rojas is one of the important Venezuelan painters of the 19th century and his works are very rare. Born in Cúa, Valles del Tuy, he began his artistic training under his grandfather, José Luis Rojas.

At the age of 20, Rojas moved to Caracas, where he continued his artistic studies at the Universidad Central with José Manuel Maucó and worked as an assistant to Antonio Herrera Toro in painting and decorating the Caracas cathedral.

In 1883, he entered a government sponsored painting competition where he received praise for his work, as well as a scholarship to study in Europe. Once in Paris, he enrolled in the Académie Julian, where he studied under Jean-Paul Laurens. In 1885 he enters the Paris Salon for the first time with his painting La Orfandad, and he continued to exhibit in the Salon until 1890, receiving Honorary Mention in 1886 for his painting La Miseria, as well as a medal in 1890.

In August of that year, he returned to Caracas, bringing with him the painting El Purgatorio, which is placed in one of the chapels of the Iglesia de la Divina Pastora. A few months after this, Rojas died in Caracas at the age of 30.

Most of his works are owned by museums and institutions in Venezuela, particularly the Galeria de Arte Nacional, which holds the largest collection of the artist’s works.


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