Antonio Rodriguez Morey (1849-1898)
Though some critics have sited Morey as having been born in Havana, he was actually born in Spain, and moved to Cuba with his family when he was sixteen. The details of this artists' life are sketchy, but his art still speaks volumes about this artists from long ago.
Schooled at San Alejandro like so many other great Cuba artists, Morey eventually became the director of Cuba's National Museum of Fine Arts. Though this was a respectable position, Morey still had financial troubles in his lifetime. Some of his most valuable paintings never even hung in the national museum in which he directed because he kept them with his family for financial security. For this reason, many of his paintings may still be unaccounted for due to the fact that his family may have sold some during hard times. It is known that his daughter would refuse to sell his work, but his grandchildren were more lenient on the sales of Morey's art.
Morey held ranks among some of the finest Cuban landscape painters. His paintings of the rural Cuban countryside and Spanish-style Cuban homes were simple, yet full of beautiful Classic elements and Realism. Like most landscape artists, his work was almost strictly oil paintings of landscapes. To his credit, there are no known portraits or interiors by Morey. However, he was known to paint still-lifes, and during his schooling, may have made a number of sketches, and perhaps painted portraiture before he was well-known.
In 1891, Morey returned to his native Europe to study the old masters. There, he settled in Rome for a while, becoming a teacher at the Sacred Heart Institute of Rome. While in Europe, he was able to study in Paris and became friends with Modigliani and Soutine, and was able to exhibit his work at the Academie Chaumiere.
By 1912, Morey was back in Cuba, winning prestigious awards for being one of the greatest landscape painters in Havana. He also began teaching at the San Alejandro at this time, and became an inspiration to a new generation of Vanguard painters.
Pictoral and lyrical, Morey's work is infused with his love of Cuban landscape and European styling. His work is easily recognizable by the rather large signature he leaves on the lower left hand corner of most of his paintings. This is not a rule however, for some of his better-known paintings are unsigned on the front. Perhaps it is due to his Spanish heritage, but Morey often portrays the fantastic Spanish-style homes and European fountains of Cuba not often portrayed in landscape painting.
Because of Morey's extensive travel and teaching, the likelihood of his work being owned in a private collection is great. Today, his paintings are housed in museums in Cuban and Florida. Could you own a painting by Antonio Rodriguez Morey? We would be glad to assist you in authenticating a piece of work by this great Cuban artist.