Cecilio Pla

Valencia, 1860.

Spanish painter. He began his studies at the San Carlos School of Fine Arts in Valencia and continued them in Madrid at the San Fernando School of Fine Arts, where he was a disciple of Emilio Sala. In 1880 he moved to Rome, travelling around Italy, France and Portugal. From there he began to send works to the National Fine Arts Exhibitions, obtaining numerous awards throughout his life. In 1910 he replaced his teacher Emilio Sala in the class of colour aesthetics and pictorial procedures in the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, and had as students Juan Gris, Francisco Bores, Pancho Cossío or José María López Mezquita, among others. In 1924 he was appointed Academic of San Fernando. He alternated his academic activities in Madrid with stays in Valencia and with his painting practice, collaborating for years in magazines such as La Ilustración Española y Americana, Blanco y Negro or La Esfera, making posters such as the one for the Carnival at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in 1892 and participating in mural decorations, such as the ceiling of the hotel of the Infanta Isabel de Borbón, the Casino of Madrid, the Círculo de Bellas Artes or the palace of the Dukes of Denia. He is considered the maximum exponent of Valencian Modernist painting, although he is capable of combining different tendencies, from the academicism and costumbrismo of the first years, to the Wagnerianism and the luminism of the numerous beach scenes painted in Valencia.

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