Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Luis Arcas

Luis Arcas Brauner was a widely admired painter of portraits (including those of Spanish royalty), landscapes and still life. Born in Valencia on 20 October 1934, he enrolled in the School of Commerce at his father's insistence. Arcas, who wanted to devote himself to the arts, eventually entered the Escuela Superior de Bellas artes de San Carlos in Valencia in 1949, where he studied until 1954. In that year he held his first exhibition.

Arcas won numerous awards throughout his career as a painter, including the Silver Medal at the 13th Exposición de arte Universitario in 1952, the Premio extradordinario nacional at the 5th National Competition of Fine Arts in Alicante in 1956 and the Premio "La Coruña" at the exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1960.

Although primarily a painter, he also produced comic strips and feature illustrations for British comics. He was an irregular contributor to War and Battle picture libraries, drawing 17 issues between 1963 and 1969, and a single contribution to Commando Library in 1970. He had, by then, switched to painting covers and illustrations for Tell Me Why (1968-70), notably the 'Great Artists' feature, and World of Wonder (1971).

His paintings have been widely exhibited in Spain and in North and South America. He was one of the artists who participated in the "Setenta y cinco años de pintura valenciana" (Seventy-Five years of Valencian painting) exhibition supported by the Valencia City Council in 1975. A retrospective of his work, "Treinta años de vida profesional" (Thirty years of professional life), was exhibited at the Caja de Ahorros de Valencia.

He died in Cambridge, England, on 3 July 1989, aged 54, survived by his wife, Asun Ivorra Lahuerta, children and grandchildren. Five years after his death, his work was celebrated as part of "Un siglo de pintura valenciana" (A century of Valencian painting) in Valencia.

The illustrations below are from the pages of World of Wonder.

(* World of Wonder © Look and Learn Ltd.; the column header is a self-portrait of the artist.) 

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