Manton De Manila Y Flores
Oil on Linen, 29 x 24 (in)
Oil on Linen, 30 x 20 (in)
Spanish, b. 1941
Born in 1945 in Valencia, Spain, Jose Mateu San Hilario, “Royo”, began demonstrating his artistic talent early. At the age of 9 his father, a prominent physician and avid art enthusiast, employed private tutors to instruct Royo in drawing, painting, and sculpture. When Royo turned 14 he entered the San Carlos Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia. Upon turning 18 Royo continued his artistic studies privately with Aldolfo Ferrer Amblat, Chairman of Art Studies at the San Carlos Academy. He also visited the major museums in Europe at this time to study the famous masters- Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, Monet, and Sorolla among others.
At the age of 25 Royo began feeling a growing desire to paint the land of his birth; to convey the light, the color and the intensity of Valencia and the Mediterranean. This meant a new focus and change of style in his work; he needed to perfect new ways to capture the light, the shadow and to work on classical composition styles. Through the 1980’s Royo perfected his style of painting the Mediterranean and exhibited abroad, notably in London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Paris. He also participated in the International Geneva Art Fair.
Beginning in 1989 and continuing until today we see the development of Royo’s “matured style.” His dramatic usage of color and “texturing” capture his subject matter with unique flair. Parallels can be drawn to the work of the European masters; for example, with Royo’s “homage to the female form,” we see the distinct influence of Renoir. It is the similar, almost portrait-like treatment of the female model, caught in a serene, contemplative moment, with the surrounding “bursts” of color from the floral landscapes where we see the “Renoir’ in Royo’s work. In fact, critics have concluded, “If the artwork of Renoir were blended with that of the ‘Valencian painters’ you would arrive at the canvasses approaching the uniqueness of the impressive work of Royo”