Juan de Ávalos

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Monument to Luis Carrero Blanco in Santoña, Spain
Saint John in the Valle de los Caídos (Valley of the fallen)

Juan de Ávalos y García-Taborda (October 21, 1911 in Mérida – July 7, 2006 in Clínica Virgen del Mar, Madrid) was a Spanish sculptor.

Juan de Ávalos began his training very early. As a six-year-old he was a student of D. Juan Carmona, pastor of the Church of Santa Eulalia, who taught him and three other children to draw. de Ávalos's family moved to Madrid shortly after that, as his father's eyesight deteriorated. In Madrid, de Ávalos's father showed his son's drawings to the painter Manuel Benedito. The famous artist was surprised to see the quality of work of a child. He didn't believe a child could draw so well until he went to de Ávalos at work. Convinced of the boy's talent, he advised de Ávalos's father to take his son to the Casón del Buen Retiro.

Author of Los amantes de Teruel (The Lovers of Teruel) in Teruel, Monumento a Luis Carrero Blanco (Monument to Luis Carrero Blanco) in Santoña, Cantabria, his most important works are those of the Valle de los Caídos ("The Valley of the Fallen"), a majestic monument in Madrid where Francisco Franco's body lies.

He married in 1937 María de la Soledad Carballo y Núñez and had two sons, Juan and Luis de Ávalos y Carballo.

Main works[edit]

A statue of Pope John Paul II made by Juan de Ávalos.