Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes "San Alejandro"

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Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes "San Alejandro" is the oldest and most prestigious fine arts school in Cuba. It is located in Marianao, a suburb of Havana. It was founded in 1818 at the Convent of San Alejandro by the French painter, Jean Baptiste Vermay, who was its first director. It is located today in a monumental building built in the early 1940s.


It is the educational center with the largest number of years building the teaching on the lands of Latin America, preceded only by the University of Havana. It turned-from a number of changes that occurred in Spain in the 19th century and not surprisingly was felt in the colonies, in the climate of the Constitution of Cadiz of 1812 and enlightened absolutism. It was established by the Royal Patriotic Society and the Royal Consulate of Havana, as the Free School of Drawing and Painting. Its first director, Juan Bautista Vermay, who arrived in Cuba when the Bonaparte empire collapsed, when he was 31 years old.


The internal life at San Alejandro is governed by the Board of Directors who in turn appoints the Technical Council, who in turn run the different departments that make up the teaching faculty.

The Board of Directors consists of the Director and Deputy Director and the Secretaries Speciality Teaching, Education, Health Care-Economic, Business and Education.

The Technical Board, in turn, is the body responsible for representing the teaching faculty to the Board of Directors. It consists of all deans of each departments. These are the Deans of Drawing, Painting, Engraving, Sculpture, Ceramics, Jewelry, Graphic Arts and Theoretical-Cultural Teachings.

San Alejandro has exchanges with many schools abroad, including in the UK The Cardinal Wiseman Roman Catholic School. Over the past three years, three exchanges have taken place. The exchanges consisted of the students from Wiseman travelling to Cuba in February, and the Cuban students coming to London in June.


  • Jean Baptiste Vermay (1818-1833)
  • Francisco Camilo Cuyás Sierra (1833-1836)
  • Francisco Guillermo Colson (1836-1843)
  • Joseph Leclerc de Baumé (1843-1852)
  • Pedro-Federico Mialhe Toussaint (1852-1858)
  • Hércules Morelli (1858-1859)
  • Augusto Ferrán (1859)
  • Juan Francisco Cisneros Guerrero (1859-1878)
  • Miguel Melero Rodríguez (1878-1907)
  • Luis Mendoza Sandrino (1907-1926)
  • Juan Emilio Hernandez Giro (1926-1927)
  • Armando García Menocal (1927-1934)
  • Leopoldo Romañach Guillén (1934-1936)
  • Manuel Vega López (1936-1939)
  • Esteban Valderrama Peña (1939-1942)
  • Enrique García Cabrera (1942-1946)
  • Domingo Ramos Enríquez (1946-1947)
  • Mariano Miguel González (1947-1949)
  • Esteban Valderrama Peña (1949-1950)
  • Leopoldo Romañach Guillén (1950)
  • Esteban Valderrama Peña (1950-1953)
  • Enrique Caravia Montenegro (1953)
  • Esteban Valderrama Peña (1953-1959)
  • Carmelo González Iglesias (1959)
  • Florencio Gelabert Pérez (1959-1962)
  • Fausto Ramos Valdés (1962-1963)
  • Josefina González Grande (1963-1967)
  • Luis Fuentes Quesada (1967)
  • José de Lázaro (Delarra) Bencomo (1967-1968)
  • Mercedes Soto (1968-1969)
  • Ahmed Safille (1969-1972)
  • Roberto Martíínez (1972-1973)
  • Armando Prieto (1973-1974)
  • Jorge Samper (1974-1975)
  • Juan Sánchez Sánchez (1975-1978)
  • Celia Morán (1978-1981)
  • Jorge Rodríguez (1981-1990)
  • Jorge Ferrero de Armas (1990-1993)
  • Miguel Fagundo Batista (1993-1999)
  • Sandra Fuentes Guevara (2000–present)

Notable alumni[edit]

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