Jose Escudero Espronceda was born in Tanos (Torrelavega) in the middle of the 19th century in a neighborhood of farmers. He was a painter who developed almost all his work in Mexico (where he spent most of his life) between 1870 and 1900. We don’t know how he studied art but he was great at painting portraits. He painted his best portraits at the end of the 19th century. It’s said that while he was painting he used to sing to encourage himself and he didn’t mind if somebody was watching him while he was working.
Escudero Espronceda painted several portraits of presidents and people with good positions in the government, for example, Benito Juarez. Benito Juarez was a Mexican lawyer and a politician. Escudero Espronceda was the only artista who painted Benito’s portrait when he was alive. Along Julián Ceballos, Joaquín Hoyos and Serafín Escalante, he favoured Torrelavega, where he was born. Important museums and collections in Mexico exhibit his paintings. However, there is also a collection of pictures in La asunción church (Torrelavega) with portraits of the Pope Leon XIII (in whose dedication you can read: “to the new church of San Juan of Torrelavega”) and the Pope Pio X (the first Pio’s portrait after his naming) and an Inmaculated Conception which is similar to the ones done by Murillo. All these paintings are from Mexico.
Escudero Espronceda painted Baldomero Iglesias’ portrait, a captain of the merchat sea-cost. This sailor died in a collapse of a steam ship and the painter spent 5 years painting Baldomero Iglesias’ picture. Later, he gave it as a present to Torrelavega’s council.
Jose escudero Espronceda died in 1906. 77 years after his death, on 12th Septembre 1983, the Mayor of Torrelavega, Manuel Rotella Gomez, named a street after him when a block of flats was finished. This painter isn’t very famous in Cantabria but with this event we will remember him, or at least, his name.
Una familia en el arte
El Diario Montañés
Iglesias de Torrelavega: una arquitectura moderna de Enrique Campuzano y Luis Alberto Alonso
Libro Historia de Torrelavega
Libro 22 calles de Torrelavega de José Izaguirre Cobo
Actas municipales de la hemeroteca municipal de Torrelavega
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