Sevillian painter Villegas y Cordero began his training with José Maria Romero and then studied under Eduardo Cano at the Spanish Academy of Fine Arts. He established close friendships with other painters of the day such as Rosale and Fortuny. In Madrid he studied the great Masters at the Prado, focusing on the works by Velázquez. He achieved great success with private collectors and eventually moved to Venice. In 1898 Villegas was made director of the Spanish Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and once back in Madrid, he was named director of the Museum of the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1903.