Vicente López y Portaña (1772-1850)
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Vincente López Portaña was a highly esteemed Spanish painter, known as one of the best portrait artists of his time.López was born in Valencia, Spain to parents Critóbal López Sanchordi and ManuelaPortaña Meer. López started painting at the age of thirteen as a student of Antonio de Villanueva, a Franciscan monk in Valencia. López formally studied at the Academy of San Carlos, where he was awarded a scholarship to continue his studies in Madrid at the Academia Real de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, a highly regarded institution in Spain’s capital. In Madrid, López worked for Mariano Salvador Maella, after completing his studies at the Academy.
In 1794 López returned to Valencia to accept a position as vice-president of the painting department at the Academy of San Carlos. After seven years time, he became the President of the Academy. During this same time period, López married Maria Piquer and had two sons. Both of his sons became painters, yet never gaining the same recognition as their father.
In 1802 López became an honorary court painter, receiving commissions from, King Charles IV. López’s work for the court boosted his reputation, and led to further work for King Ferdinand VII, who appointed López as official court painter. López eventually took over Goya’s position as the top Royal Court Painter. López not only painted portraits for the royal family but also gave drawing lessons to Maria Isabella of Portugal and Maria Josepha of Saxony. López eventually became the President of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
López served as a court painter in Madrid until the end of his life. When he died, he was serving Queen Isabella II. During López’s career he painted countless royal portraits as well as historical and religious paintings.
One of López’s best-known works is a portrait of the painter, Francisco de Goya. López’s works are now housed at the Museo del Prado, among other famous collections around the world. Do you think you own a painting by Vincente López y Portaña? Contact us. We are the López experts.