Jose Arpa

     Jose Arpa y Perea (1858-1952) was born in Carmona, Spain. Arpa moved to Mexico around the turn-of-the-century making many visits to San Antonio and finally making San Antonio his permanent home in 1923. During the mid 1930's Arpa returned to Spain.

     Jose Arpa received his early art training at the School of Fine Arts in Seville, Spain where he received special instruction from the historical painter Dr. Edwardo de la Pena. Arpa won the Rome Prize 3 times in succession. Four of his canvases were exhibited at the World Fair in Chicago in 1893, as representing the best art of Spain. As a result of his recognition, given his work in Spain and in the United States, the Mexican Government invited him to become the director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City; they sent a man-of-war to Spain to escort the artist to Mexico. Arpa declined the position, but he did stay in Mexico to paint.

     Later he traveled to San Antonio, where his painting "A Mexican Funeral", exhibited at the International Fair, brought him to the attention of Texans. Arpa remained in San Antonio for many years painting and teaching. His art instruction is an important part of the Early teaching in San Antonio. He was a brilliant colorist, and his skill in handling sunlight earned him the nickname "Sunshine Man". His style was realistic with rich fluid brush work. Arpa found much beauty in San Antonio, painting scenes of the Texas Hill Country, rivers, wildflowers and the deep blue skies of Texas. He maintained his studio in San Antonio where he had a wide influence on the arts, locally and throughout the state. His nephew Xavier Gonzalez assisted him teaching Arpa's students drawing. Jose Arpa entered many exhibits and won many awards and mentions.



A Mexican Funeral

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