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Luis Riccardo Falero Spanish 1851-1896
Considered one of the most interesting characters in the art world of Paris, Luis Falero might have stepped out from a canvas by Velasquez. Along with his black eyes and fiery expression, he wore his black hair and beard in the style of the old Spanish portraits. For relaxation he turned his attention to mathematics and scientific studies, engaged in astronomy, or passionately read of the supernatural. This latter area particularly, was to deeply influence the direction of his artwork.
Falero was born in Grenada, Spain, in 1851. At the age of 7 he went to study at Richmond College in England to learn English and the art of watercolors. His rich parents intended for him to enter the Spanish naval service, but at the age of 16 he left school and made his way to Paris. He first painted the classical and conventional characters, but following his ruling passion for the spirit world, Falero commenced upon the subject of nude female forms in allegorical settings for which he soon became famous. From his first success in 1878 with Witches Going to the Sabbath he followed with many pictures in the same style.
One critic wrote: “His angels, witches and lovely female forms personifying the planets, cupids and all, are wingless, and therefore more natural and beautiful than they otherwise would be.” Of his female forms another wrote: “Most of them are sensuous representations of flesh, yet full of ideal beauty.” He himself commented: “I like the nude the most, not only because I find it more difficult but because for me it is the most perfect expression of the beauty of womanhood.”
Luis Falero died in London at University College Hospital at the young age of 45.
Biography excerpted from the unpublished catalog by Edward P. Bentley for the Haussner Restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, titled: Haussner’s: The Art Collection.