Zuloaga y Zabaleta, Ignacio  (1870-1945) was a Basque Spanish painter. His figures, often Basque peasants or bullfighters, are usually richly colored against a dark background. After the defeat suffered by Spain in the Spanish-American War of 1898, he sought to encourage the regeneration of his country’s culture but with a critical spirit.

  He was born in Eibar, Guipúzcoa, the son of metalworker and damascener Plácido Zuloaga and grandson of the organizer and director of the royal armoury in Madrid.

In his youth, he drew and worked in his father's workshop. He was educated by the Jesuits in France. His father wanted him to be an architect, and with this objective in mind, he was sent to Rome, where he immediately followed the strong impulse that led him to painting. After only six months' work he completed his first picture, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1890.

In 1891 Zuloaga continued his studies in Paris, where he lived for five years, coming under the influence of Impressionism. He was strongly influenced by Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and the group of Catalan painters around Ramon Casas and Santiago Rusiñol.

 Only upon returning to his native land did he find his true style, which is based on the national Spanish tradition embodied in the work of Diego Velázquez, Francisco de Zurbarán, El Greco, and Francisco de Goya.

His own country was slow in acknowledging the young artist whose strong, decorative and rugged style stood in opposition to the styles of well-known modern Spanish artists such as Fortuny, Madrazo, and Benlliure. It was first in Paris, and then Brussels and other European art centres, that Zuloaga was hailed by the reformers as the regenerator of Spanish national art and as the leader of a school.

 Zuloaga died in 1945. In Madrid there is a museum of his work.


"Dwarf Gregorio" (1907) Oil on canvas, 187 x 154 cm - 72.4 x 60.6 in. Hermitage Museum, San Petersburg, Russia.

"The witches of San Millán" (1907) Oil on canvas, 190 × 204 cm - 74.8 x 80.3 in. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

"View of Toledo" Oil on canvas. Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, Spain.

"Castilian Landscape" (1909) Oil on canvas, 57.5 x 61.3 cm - 22.6 x 24.1 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

"Portrait of Countess Mathieu de Noailles" (circa 1913) Oil on canvas, 152 x 195.5 cm - 59.87 x 77 in. Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby, U.K.

"Toreros de pueblo" (1906) Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid, Spain.

Text source: 'Wikipedia' (www.wikipedia.org) and others.

Related Artists:

Related Terms: Realism, Genre Painting, Impressionism.

Statue of Zuloaga in Eibar, Guipúzcoa, Spain.

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