Person - Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique (1898-1985)

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique (1898-1985)




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Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique (1898-1985)Other forms

Dates of existence/Biographical dates:

Madrid (España)  1898-02-23 - 1985-09-25


Spanish Art historian, critic, archivist, and museologist. In 1963, he was appointed Board Member of the Prado Museum. He graduated in Philosophy and History, and got a PhD in History from the former Universidad Complutense of Madrid, where, from 1930 to 1947, he was an assistant professor of Elías Tormo and Manuel Gómez Moreno. He joined the Corps of Archivists, Librarians, and Archaeologists, and from 1931 to 1942, he was the head of the Fine Arts Section of the Biblioteca Nacional de España (BNE; National Library of Spain). During this period, he made a great effort in order to organize and catalog its funds. In 1942, he got the position of professor of Fine Arts History at the Fine Arts College of San Fernando (Madrid). In the same year he was appointed Director of the Art Treasure Study Section of the National Heritage. He was also director of the Museum of Artistic Reproduction, of the 19th Century Paintings, and of the National of Modern Art. He was a member of the board of directors of the Friends Association of Art and director of its magazine "Arte Español", section chief of the Diego Velázquez Institute (CSIC), honorary member of the Institute of Madrid Studies, and member of the National Iconography Board. He also belonged to the Hispanic Society of America in New York, the Academy of History and the Academies of San Jorge of Barcelona, Santa Isabel de Hungría in Seville and San Carlos in Valencia, among others. In 1951, he entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in San Fernando, an institution in which he held the positions of conservator, censor, and delegate of the National Chalcography, to which he donated his rich and vast library. In 1977, he received the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in recognition of his work and career. As an expert in Spanish and Flemish painting and related to the Spanish one, he was very interested in the methodological aspects of art and its historical discipline. As a consequence, he created an essential work for Spanish historiography, "La fundamentación y los problemas de la historia del arte", which was mainly his discourse of admission to the San Fernando Academy. Breaking with the Spanish tradition, he combined his dedication to history with art criticism, making important contributions to the study of Spanish art of all historical periods. He was connected to the Prado Museum from an early age. In his youth he was part of his cataloging commission and throughout his life he dedicated many of his studies to this institution. His love for the Museum led him to be the main promoter and first president of the Friends of the Prado Museum Foundation, created in 1980, to help the Museum in its mission and activities and to increase its collections. He wrote in numerous Spanish and foreign art publications and did art criticism in newspapers such as Ya or El País. Moreover, he published numerous books, among them: "Breve historia de la pintura española" (1934), "­Velázquez" (1946), "El dos de mayo y los fusilamientos" (1946), "Goya: Les fresques de San Antonio de la Florida à Madrid" (1955), "Museo del Prado. La pintura española de los siglos XVII y XVIII" (1964), "Francisco de Goya. La Tauromaquia" (1974), and "Los caprichos de Goya" (1980). In 1958, he donated drawings and engravings of the 19th century to the Prado Museum.


Academician in 1951

College teachers between 1942 and 1970


Lugar de Nacimiento:

Madrid (España) in 1898-02-23

Lugar de Defunci¿n:

Cercedilla (Madrid, España) in 1985-09-25

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Biblioteca Nacional de Espa¿a


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