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DURANGO, MÉXICO [1887 - 1946]

Angel Zarraga was a Mexican painter. He was founding member of the cultural organization El Ateneo de la Juventud.

Zárraga was born as son of the physician Dr. Fernando Zárraga and his wife Guadalupe Argüelles in the Barrio de Analco of Durango. While he visited the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City, he made first contacts with the artistic and intellectual scene, and studied at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (ENBA). His family enabled him a study trip to Europe in 1904, where he visited and exhibited in Spain, France and Italy. He also visited courses at the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.

In 1906 he exhibited some of his pictures in the Museo del Prado, and in 1907 in an exhibition of the ENBA. He participated in the 1909 Biennale di Venezia and exhibited in the Salon at the Piazzale Donatello, Florence. In 1911 he moved to France for good, and he only returned once at the outbreak of World War I for a short time.

Zárraga's 1912 Ex Voto, with Saint Sebastian

After 1921 his work was influenced by Cézanne and Giotto. He also painted murals at the Château de Vert-Cœur and in the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, and decorated the Mexican embassy in Paris, where he also exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, as well as in New York. Concerning to the collapse of the international art market he lost his sponsors and became depressive. During World War II he returned to his home country in 1941, where he painted murals at the Club de Banqueros and at the of the Catedral de Monterrey. He died after suffering from a pneumonia. A museum of contemporary art is named after him.

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