Luis Ricardo Falero (1851-1896)

Falero was born in Granada, Spain and studied in Paris, working as a portraitist. He settled in London in the 1880s, dying there in 1896 at the age of 45. Falero specialised in the female nude in a mythological or fantasy setting.

Typical titles include ‘Muse of the Night’, ‘The Minstral’s Dance’, ‘Iris’ and ‘The Zodiac’.

Gallery of painting

Long story – Luis Falero, born at Toldeo in 1851, and who died in 1896, was originally in the Spanish Navy, but he forsook that vocation for painting, studying first in Paris, and ultimately in London, where he took up his residence. His love of astronomy, in which he was well-versed, led him to import into his allegorical work much which had relation to the heavens. It was not the highest form of Art by any means, but there was considerable beauty and an ethereal suggestion in it which appealed to many, and procured him a wide reputation. The most popular of these was ‘The Marriage of a Comet’; another was ‘Twin Stars’ (now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York). Other works, more or less fanciful, such as ‘The Mermaid’ (seen at the Guildhall in 1901, and belonging to Mr. Alderman Colley), offered facilities for the expression of his invariable theme, that of the nude female form, which is brought with great charm and accuracy of drawing into all his star pictures, as, of course, the main motive. Coloured reproductions of his works have greatly extended the public’s knowledge of him, and increased his reputation in his own peculiar and individual line. Two subject pictures of a different kind attracted considerable notice: ‘The Dream of Faust’ and ‘Unto a Better Land’. Most of his works are in New York. In the course of his career he illustrated the astronomical works of Camille Flammarion.

Falero died at University College Hospital, London on 7th December 1896 at the age of 45. “In 1896 Maud Harvey launched a successful paternity suit against the Hampstead-based artist Luis Falero. The seventeen-year-old Harvey had been ‘seduced’ by Falero while serving first as his housemaid and then as his model. Dismissed from service upon the discovery of her pregnancy, she sued when he broke his promise of financial support and was awarded a payment of five shillings a week. (From ‘Difficult subjects: working women and visual culture, Britain 1880-1914′, Kristina Huneault, 2002).


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