Laureano Barrau

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Solitude. 1891. 56 × 41.5 cm. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Laureano Barrau (1863–1957) was a Spanish impressionist painter. He began his studies in Barcelona, his native city and afterwards in Madrid where he studied the old Spanish Masters. at the age of 20 he went to Paris and entered the Académie des Beaux-Arts where he had the painter Gerome as tutor. Two years later he won the Prix de Rome in Barcelona which afforded him the opportunity to study the great Italian Masters for three years. When he was 28 the Salon de la Nationales des Beaux-Arts de Paris gave him the title of Societaire. He earned medals in the principal cities in Europe and today his paintings hang in museums in Spain, Paris, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro.

When Laureano was 47 he came to the island of Ibiza. Enraptured by the charm and beauty of the island he resolved to make it his home. He settled with his wife in the town of Santa Eulalia del Rio where he painted what is considered his best work full of light and colour. He remained in Santa Eulalia for the rest of his life. He died in 1957 at the age of 94 and is buried in the cemetery in Santa Eulalia.

In 1963, a museum which houses some 200 of Barrau's paintings was inaugurated by his wife on Puig da Missa in Santa Eulalia beside the 400 year old church. She then gave the museum to the village. To this day there is some dispute as to whether the museum belongs to the town or the church.