Tomás Martín Rebollo
Tomás Martín Rebollo was born in Calle de San Juan de los Reyes in Albaicín, Granada, in 1858. Fortuny's stay in Granada was a key factor in the young artist's development, as it stimulated his passion for water colours, and when the great artist left for Italy in October 1872, he enrolled at the...read more
Tomás Martín Rebollo was born in Calle de San Juan de los Reyes in Albaicín, Granada, in 1858. Fortuny's stay in Granada was a key factor in the young artist's development, as it stimulated his passion for water colours, and when the great artist left for Italy in October 1872, he enrolled at the School of Fine Art in Granada, already giving his profession as artist. At the School he was taught by the painter Julián Sanz del Valle, a very different teacher from Fortuny. At the age of eighteen he exhibited at the brilliant exhibition held in Granada in 1876 and was awarded a silver medal. The following year he presented some water colours at the exhibition the Sociedad Económica dedicated to King Alfonso XII on the occasion of his visit to the city and he prepared the watercolour design for the membership diploma the Society presented to the King.
Martín moved to Madrid, keen to find new horizons and widen his knowledge. He joined the Fine Arts Circle, attended classes in watercolour painting there and took part in its first exhibition in 1880 with Larrocha, another Granada-born painter. He enrolled at the Special School of Painting for the academic year 1880-81 but did not take the final exams and presented two watercolours at the 1881 National Exhibition. He returned to Granada in summer 1882 and it was at this time that an English newspaper praised his watercolours of themes linked to Granada and his copy of a portrait. By January 1883 two shops in Granada each had one of his watercolours in the window, a reflection of the artist's exceptional talent.
His shy, modest character did not help him to make his way in the local art world, so he returned to Madrid, where one of his pen drawings was included in the album the Academy of Jurisprudence presented to Queen Maria Christina when its new premises were inaugurated in 1883. In 1885 he presented some figure sketches at the permanent exhibition organised by the newly-founded Centro Artístico and returned to Madrid with a bursary from Granada Provincial Council. He was not required to compete for the award but this did not cause any ill feeling, as it was universally agreed that he fully deserved it. He set up his studio in Madrid in a house on the outskirts of the city in the Salamanca district and enrolled for the course in "Elements of Figure Drawing" taught by Casado at the Special School of Painting. At this time he produced many sketches and drawings but because of his solitary life style he was virtually unknown in the city. He frequented the Society of Water Colourists.
In 1887 he exhibited at the National Exhibition as a disciple of Julián Sanz del Valle. In 1888 he spent a period on the coast of Cantabria sketching and recording his impressions. In summer 1889 he took part in an exhibition by the Society of Water Colourists in Madrid and in another held by the Fine Arts Circle. In 1893 he coincided at the Prado Museum with three other painters from Granada (Larrocha, Vallcorba and José Sánchez Gerona) when they were making copies of works by the great masters. Martín painted watercolour studies of the main works of Velázquez and delighted the Madrid public with a series of beautifully accomplished popular landscapes and watercolours at the Circle of Fine Art Biennial. In 1898 we again find him at the Circle of Fine Art Biennial alongside artists of the calibre of Sorolla, Moreno Carbonero and Muñoz Degrain. As the new century proceeded, Tomás distanced himself from Granada. In 1909, for the first time since he went to Madrid, his work was shown in a solo exhibition at Sala Iturrioz, consisting of ninety-four paintings ranging from beautiful watercolours of popular themes to landscapes and views of Granada, Santillana del Mar and Madrid. Tomás travelled to Rome in 1911 and returned to Madrid ten months later. His impressions of this journey were also shown at Sala Iturrioz. He suffered from heart disease and he died in Madrid in 1919. In his honour the Fine Arts Circle organised an exhibition which was very well attended and where his work was in great demand.
MARIA DOLORES SANTOS MORENO: Pintura del siglo XIX en Granada: Arte y Sociedad, University of Granada, 1997, pp. 856-863 (Unpublished doctoral thesis)Read less