AMÁRICA MEDINA, Fernando de
(Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1866 - Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1956)
Fernando de Amárica was born in Vitoria on 1 June 1866, the son of Vidal de Amárica y Otazu and Nicolasa Medina y Montero. Aged eleven he received his first drawing classes at the School of Arts and Crafts in Vitoria. Between the years 1882 and 1887 he read Law in Valladolid, a profession he would never practice. Back in Vitoria he struck up a relationship with Ignacio Díaz de Olano, a painter with whom he would share a studio during his sojourn in Rome in 1895. In the Italian capital he also attended painting classes at the International Art Centre and in 1898 he travelled to Madrid, and studied under Joaquín Sorolla for three months. In 1900 he travelled to Paris for the first time, where he met Anglada Camarasa, among other painters. On following trips to Paris made in 1928 and 1934 his objective was to visit museums and galleries. In 1903 Díaz de Olano was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of the School of Arts and Crafts of Vitoria, a position he resigned from in 1937. Living at a distance from artistic centres and being scarcely fond of public appearances, he only held three solo exhibitions during his career. In 1939 he set up the Amárica Foundation and the Fernando de Amárica Gallery in Vitoria, where he displayed the works he had donated to the foundation. In 1945 he was appointed Honorary Member of the Autumn Salon in Madrid and became Honorary President of the Artistic Association of Álava in 1962. In the fifties he began to show an interest in literature, as proven by his works in prose ¿Cómo murió el General Urbistondo?, Cosas de Zuloaga and De mi molino. As a result of his dedication to literature and of his failing eyesight he ceased to paint entirely. He died on 6 November 1956.