BENITO QUINQUELA MARTIN (1890/1977), ARGENTINE PAINTER AND MURALIST – Walking in the streets of La Boca


BENITO QUINQUELA MARTIN 1/3 – His birthday could not be determined precisely as he was abandoned on March 20, 1890 at an orphanage in Buenos Aires (Barracas district). From his physical appearance, the nuns, who found him deduced his birth; thus March 1 is regarded as his birthday. Six years old he was adopted. He spent his teenage years helping his new parents in their coal store, but at the age of 14 he attended a modest night school of art in La Boca, thanks to his mother’s encouragement. Starting in 1910, he began to attend some exhibitions, continuing to paint scenes from the port of La Boca and the city landscapes. The boats, men and cranes of the harbor would forever remain in the perceptial horizon of his paintings. Among his works, you can admire “Twilight in the Courtyard” at the Pedro de Mendoza Fine Arts Museum

BENITO QUINQUELA MARTIN 2/3 – The turning point of his artistic maturing process came with the encouragement of the director of the Academy of Fine Arts. He abandoned the coal store, dedicating his time to painting and attended local art exhibition. He was sent as the Argentine representative to an exhibition to and Spain, in 1922, where the Museum of Modern Art in Madrid acquired two of his works. Even the museums in Paris and New York, Rome and London welcomed his paintings, displaying poor immigrants landing the ships full of hope, while harbor workers carried sacks on their shoulders, alongside with old boats and sunsets

BENITO QUINQUELA MARTIN 3/3 – In 1933 he built a house (in which he painted 18 murals), which was used as a school, a museum of pictorial art for Argentine artists, his studio and residence. This educational project was supposed to help develop the creativity of children. Walking along the streets of La Boca, see the Caminito – officially the world’s first outdoor pedestrian museum. It is one of the most beautiful “walkway” and touristic hotspot in La Boca with its amazing colors. Since 1950, houses have been redesigned in bright colors, while his artist friends, painters and sculptors continued to leave their works there. The child, who had never known his biological parents died at the end of January 1977. At La Boca (1835 Pedro de Mendoza Avenue), the Quinquela Martin Museum of Fine Arts awaits your visit.

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