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Ignacio Zuloaga y Zabaleta (1870-1945) was a painter of portraits, genre, nudes and landscapes and was arguably the most important Basque painter at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century.
Born into a family of ceramists in Échar in Spain, Zuloaga spent his early years working in this father's workshop, before moving to Madrid, Rome and Paris to complete his apprenticeship. Zuloaga soon established himself as a major artist and exhibited with artists such as Gauguin, Van Gogh, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec throughout the 1890's. The historian Lafuente Ferrari wrote 'Zuloaga extracted, from his motifs, the maximum capacity for expression, magnifying them to a scale of true artistic and human grandeur'. In 1899, Zuloaga was awarded his first medal in the Barcelona Art Exposition and in 1911 he won a major prize at the Universal Exhibition of Fine Arts in Rome.
During his artistic career Zuloaga exhibited in all the major European cities and gained remarkable public, critical and commercial success after exhibiting his works in New York in 1909. In 1938 his work at the Biennial of Venice brought him great accolade and he was awarded with the Grand prize. Zuloaga died later that year, on the 31 October, in his study in Las Vistillas, Madrid and was buried in San Sebastián.
The Zuloaga Museum in Santiago Etxea is based around Ignacio Zuloaga's own taste as a collector.