RICO Y ORTEGA, Martín
El Escorial, Madrid, 1833 – Venecia, 1908
Martín Rico y Ortega is one of the most prominent landscape artists from the second half of the 19th century, and the one who clearly garnered the most international fame. He was trained in the Artistic and Literary Lyceum of Madrid with his brother, the engraver Bernardo Rico, and in the atelier of the painter Vicente Camarón. After that, he studied at the San Fernando Fine Arts School. In February 1862, he travelled to Paris on a grant, and several months later he went to Switzerland, where he furthered his knowledge in contact with Alexandre Calame. Back in Paris, he began to take an interest in plein-air painting, influenced by the Barbizon School and the works of Charles Daubigny. In 1866, he returned to Spain, although he continued to make frequent trips around different areas of Spain and Paris, where he returned in 1874. His friendship with Mariano Fortuny, whom he had met in 1866, had a significant effect on his painting, which veers towards the “precious” and seeks to capture the effects of light. He travelled with Fortuny to Venice in 1872, a city which continued to attract him thereafter and became the site of his death on 13 April 1908.