Saturdays Artists Series, part I: Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz…

Francisco Pradilla - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

Francisco Pradilla was a Spanish painter who lived during the last part of the XIXth C. and the beginning of the XXth…

Francisco Pradilla y Ortiz, who directed the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome and the Museo del Prado, was born close to Zaragoza in Aragon on the 24th of July 1848. He died in Madrid on the 1st of November 1921.

This painter, with incredible ability and a very well trained, academic hand, became known for painting great epic scenes depicting historical events. Of course, while in Rome he had the opportunity to study the great masters, the old masters, who, in fact are the great teachers of art.

His painting of 1877 titled “Doña Juana la Loca”, which he submitted to the National Exhibition of Fine Arts of Spain, won the Medal of Honour. Pradilla painted over one thousand canvases, mostly of heroic events of Spanish history but some about life in the small towns and villages that surrounded his native Zaragoza.

I see in his paintings perfect technique, great pre-painting preparation, meaning that he investigated and researched well before starting. He painted according to the standards and expectations of the academy. Meaning that he was an academic painter. He won many prizes and collected many medals, not only in Spain but also throughout Europe. In 1878 he won a Medal of Honour in Paris and in 1893 he won First Prize in a Munich expo.

I recommend a good, long look at the work of Pradilla. His compositions are perfect. His colours, his palette is well thought out and his topics are a history lesson, of sorts. However, I would point out, to those of you who like to look beyond the obvious, to notice how he paints women…

Your turn to reply. Did you notice the attitude, the placing in the composition and the expression in the faces of the women, especially Juana la Loca? Tell me after you watch the accompanying video of Pradilla’s works.

So here is the photo montage video. I just ask you to give it a like and subscribe if you like to our channel. Thank you!

(Please do not forget to join our collective by subscribing to our YouTube channel and thank you for liking this video as well)



  1. Brad Osborne · 4 Days Ago

    I love his works. Such detail and realism in both palette and composition. My only take away from his stylization of women’s faces is that they all seem to slant a bit androgynous for me. Another great in the series!

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · 4 Days Ago

      Thank you Brad. I am so glad you have liked this artist. The women, he seems to always place as subservient, even when painting the Queen…but you’ve a good point and I will take a second look … all the best,

  2. House of Heart · 4 Days Ago

    Beautiful artwork, I enjoyed the link!

  3. azurea20 · 4 Days Ago

    Francisco Pradilla nación en Villanueva de Gállego muy cerca de Zaragoza.

  4. spwilcen · 4 Days Ago

    Brief? Yes, but longer than most you put up, and yes, I could have reclined and spent a half-hour or so taking it all in. Excellent as per your usual. Very much liked Francisco’s work. Say, one never notices until well after, but your given names… I had hoped when starting the montage to hear Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” accompanying. That’s a piece that to this day tugs at my heart though I first heard it completing my second degree, thirty-odd years ago. Still pulls-up visions of Don Quixote, El Cid, and oddly, every (have to love them!) spaghetti western. I realize the incongruity there – Italy-Spain – but that’s the mood and feeling that comes over me. Thank you, sir! Have a wonderful day. You’ve helped make mine!

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · 4 Days Ago

      Thank you my friend! You always make my day! The video is a little longer because the music was a little longer and I liked it and did not want to fade it out, so I extended the photographs and looked for a few more. I thank you profusely for your support and for your comments which I always look for and appreciate.

  5. tiffanyarpdaleo · 3 Days Ago

    I enjoyed seeing his work in your slideshow, very detailed and thoughtful. My observation was that the women seem scared or fearful, so, subservient makes sense!

    • Francisco Bravo Cabrera · 3 Days Ago

      Yes, his paintings are part of a special show at the Prado Museum in Madrid featuring women artists and also how women were depicted in XIXth C. art

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