The content on this page is aggregated and is not affiliated with the artist.
Also known as Aurelio Arteta Errasti.
Aurelio Arteta Errasti (2 Dec. 1879, Bilbao - 10 Nov. 1940, Mexico City); Basque painter who worked in several styles; including Symbolism, Cubism and Social Realism. Remembered mostly for his murals.
His father was a farmer and laborer. He began his artistic education at the School of Arts and Crafts in Bilbao. In 1894, his family moved to Valladolid, so his father could find work. After 1897, he attended the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. To avoid putting a burden on his family's modest income, he worked at various odd jobs, mostly of an artistic nature, but also danced as a comparsa.
Thanks to a grant from the Diputación de Vizcaya, he was able to continue his studies abroad; first in Paris, where he was influenced by Puvis de Chavannes, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec; then Italy in 1906, where he discovered Giotto and Raphael. That same year, he returned to Bilbao, opened a studio, and held his first exhibition. In 1911, he became one of the founders of the Basque Artists' Association.
In 1922, after a series of exhibitions, he painted his first murals at the new branch offices of the Banco de Bilbao in Madrid; 12 frescoes depicting the history of the Basque Country and the banking profession. From then on, he would be known primarily as a muralist. His second major mural was at the seminary chapel in Logroño; from designs by Ricardo Bastida.
In 1924, he was appointed Director of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, but resigned 3 years later after the city of Bilbao censured some of his acquisitions. Spain's intellectuals came to his support which eventually led to a general criticism of cultural policies under the Primo de Rivera régime. He continued to exhibit and won several awards.
...when it appeared that France would fall to the Nazis, he chose to go into self-exile in Mexico. ...he and his wife were killed in a streetcar accident in Coyoacán.