Mariano Miguel Gonzalez (1885-1954)
Though born in Spain, Mariano Miguel Gonzalez would become an influential Cuban artists and a director of the San Alejandro Academy. During his lifetime, he worked as an artist, a professor and a journalist, and went down in San Alejandro history as being an influential figure in typography and engraving.
From his home in Madrid, Gonzalez traveled all of Europe, and in 1904, traveled to Cuba to work as an illustrator. He traveled back to Spain in 1908, only to return to Havana in 1910 where he became an editor of a naval newspaper. By 1912, Gonzalez had gained full Cuban citizenship and went on to become a professor at San Alejandro and taught landscape painting.
Among his scholastic achievements, Gonzalez was also highly published and worked with a number of newspapers and magazines. He exhibited his work extensively in both Europe and the United States, and of course in Cuba. Along with a number of collective exhibits, Gonzalez held one man shows in Madrid, New York, Cincinnati, Mexico and Havana. His style is one part Classical, one part plastic, and reflects the rural life of Cuba and the city life of Havana during pre-revolutionary times.
While Gonzalez was a beautiful painter of landscapes and portraiture, he dedicated his life to the art of engraving. He continued to teach engraving at San Alejandro until his death in 1954. He was, in fact, one of the first Cuban artists to push this form of art on the island nation, and through his influence, engraving became more widely used among Cuban artists.
Because Gonzalez began his artistic career in Europe, there may be a number of paintings of his still existing there today, unauthenticated or otherwise unknown. He also was known to travel the Caribbean islands, and would paint or draw scenes of these neighboring islands from time to time.
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