HUERTA AYUSO, Moisés de
(Muriel de Zapardiel, Valladolid, 1881 - Mérida, Badajoz, 1962)
Sculpture. Bilbao, Madrid
Moisés de Huerta, oneof the most outstanding Basque sculptors of the early twentieth century, was born in Muriel de Zapardiel (Valladolid) in 1881. The following year he and his family moved to Bilbao, where he devoted himself to art. In 1893 he enrolled at the local School of Arts and Crafts to study Drawing and Modelling. Thanks to grants awarded by the regional governments of Valladolid and Bizkaia he was able to further his studies in Madrid. In 1906 he took part for the first time in the National Exposition of Fine Arts held in the capital, where he won a prize, and the following year he travelled to Paris in order to familiarise himself with the European avant-garde. Back in Bilbao, he worked as a sculptor on the New Cathedral in Vitoria. In 1909 he moved to the Spanish Academy in Rome, where he would remain until 1914 thanks to a pension. During those years classicism and Realism became the aesthetic foundations of his sculpture. He was also drawn to the work of Auguste Rodin, having met the artist on one of the trips he made during his sojourn in Rome. The most intense and prolific period of his career as a sculptor began on his return from Italy, marked by commissions and critical recognition. In 1924 he was appointed president of the jury for the sculpture selection at the National Fine Arts Exposition, and went on to create a number of monuments in Spain and in Cuba. In 1929 he took part in the Latin American Exposition staged in Seville. During the years of the Spanish Civil War his artistic activity was naturally reduced. In 1940 he occupied a chair at the Higher School of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, and would subsequently become an academician. These appointments forced him to move to the Spanish capital, where he alternated teaching with the execution of monumental commissions up until his death in Mérida (Badajoz) in 1962.