Tuesday Art ATTACK- Angel Zárraga "The Gift"

Angel Zárraga was born August 16th 1886 in Victoria de Durango, Mexico. He was born the son of prominent Mexican physician and was exposed to the science of anatomy at a young age. Zárraga traveled with his father in his teenage years allowing him to study art at several different institutions across Mexico including the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City. Due to his superior knowledge of anatomy and the human body Zárraga was able to create figurative scenes much more complex than his classmates. 

In 1904 Zárraga was able to travel across Europe to study free from the American influence that was so prevalent in Mexico. He visited Spain, France, Italy, and studied at the Royal Academy for Arts in Belgium. While in Italy he took great interest in the works of Giotto and th old masters of the Renaissance. This influence is greatly noticeable in his earlier works and compositions. 

He was admitted to the Salon at the Piazzale Donatello, Florence in 1909 and impressed the critics with his unique twist on classical motifs with influence of his Mexican heritage. In 1911 he moved to France for good and fell in love with the work of Cézanne. His work began to shift towards figurative abstraction the longer he lived and studied in France. He painted several murals at the Château de Vert-Cœr and the Citè Internationale Universitaire de Paris. Zárraga was also chosen to decorate the Mexican embassy in Paris. Sadly due to the collapse of the art market preceding WWII he lost his patrons and was forced to return home to Mexico where he lived painting murals until his death in 1946.

By Christian Franzen

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