PEDRO LIRA (1845/1912), CHILEAN VISUAL PAINTER – The pioneer of Chilean painting


PEDRO LIRA 1/3 – Several historical paintings of his have been used on Chilean banknotes. He was born in Santiago de Chile, into a wealthy family in Chile, and had refined his artistic talents with a landscape painter, continuing to practice law studies at the University of Chile. This South American painter contributed to the foundation of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Chile. He attempted to bring in his country about an almost Parisian appreciation, focusing on culture by exhibiting his paintings.

PEDRO LIRA 2/3 – Pursuing an interest in art, he enrolled at the “Academia de Pintura”, which was under the direction of a noted Neoclassical painter from Italy. He was influenced by the work of artist Eugene Delacroix, the romantic French painter. After obtaining a grant to study in Europe, he went with his wife to Paris, lying in the art dispute between Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Here, Jules-Élie Delaunay became her teacher, and he lived in France from 1873 to 1884. Carta de amor” (Love Letter) is a magnificent painting (234 × 482 cm), that you can admire at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, in Santiago de Chile

PEDRO LIRA 3/3 – Activities in Chile? Soon after his arrival, he organized the first exposition devoted exclusively to Chilean painters. He also compiled Chile’s first “Biographical Dictionary of Painters”. In 1892, he was appointed Director of the “Escuela de Bellas Artes”, a position he held until his death. Pedro Reszka Moreau and Celia Castro (the first Chilean woman to become a notable artist), are the best known painters whose careers he supported. He is best known for his eclectic portraits of women. He died in Santiago de Chile on a day in late April 1912.

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