• Still Life with Sour sops

    “Still Life with Sour sops”

    Date 1891
    Dimensions 20 1/2" x 31 1/2"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on canvas
    Genre Still life
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Corporación de las Artes Musicales Collection
  • Still Life with Avocados and Utensils

    “Still Life with Avocados and Utensils”

    Date 1890-91
    Dimensions 20 5/8" x 33"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on canvas
    Genre Still life
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Corporación de las Artes Musicales Collection
  • Sugar Mill

    “Sugar Mill”

    Date 1890
    Dimensions 17 1/4" x 20 1/2"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on canvas
    Genre Rural landscape
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico Collection
    Acknowledgement Gift of: Familia Ferrer Rincón
  • Landscape with Royal Palm

    “Landscape with Royal Palm”

    Date c.1910
    Dimensions 18 3/8" x 13 3/4"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on wood
    Genre Rural landscape
    Period 20th Century
    Collection Ateneo Puertorriqueño Collection
  • The Basilica of Lourdes from the Gave River

    “The Basilica of Lourdes from the Gave River”

    Date 1876-1877
    Dimensions 9 1/2" x 12"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on wood
    Genre Rural landscape
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico Collection
  • Portrait of Angelina Serracante

    “Portrait of Angelina Serracante”

    Date 1885-1888
    Dimensions 25 1/2" x 9 1/4"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on wood
    Genre Portrait
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico Collection
  • Landscape with hut

    “Landscape with hut”

    Date 1870-1897
    Dimensions 10 1/4" x 13 7/8"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on canvas
    Genre Rural landscape
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico Collection
  • Self portrait

    “Self portrait”

    Date 1889-1892
    Dimensions 23 5/8" x 17"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on wood
    Genre Self-portrait
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico Collection
  • Study for The Wake

    “Study for The Wake”

    Date 1892
    Dimensions 12 3/4" x 17"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on canvas
    Genre Scenes
    Period 19th Century
    Collection Museo de San Juan Collection
  • Ponce Grand Old Ceiba Tree

    “Ponce Grand Old Ceiba Tree”

    Date 1887-88
    Dimensions 18 1/2" x 27"
    Category Painting
    Medium Oil on canvas
    Genre Rural landscape
    Period 18th Century
    Collection Museo de Arte de Ponce Collection
  • Still Life with Sour sops
  • Still Life with Avocados and Utensils
  • Sugar Mill
  • Landscape with Royal Palm
  • The Basilica of Lourdes from the Gave River
  • Portrait of Angelina Serracante
  • Landscape with hut
  • Self portrait
  • Study for The Wake
  • Ponce Grand Old Ceiba Tree

Francisco Oller

San Juan, PR, 1833 - 1917

Biography Details

Painter and educator. Oller initiated the long tradition in Puerto Rican art of depicting scenes of Puerto Rico. He captured the beauty of the landscape and its tropical fruits, and he often painted scenes illustrating some of the island’s social ills. He first studied in San Juan under painter Juan Cletos Noa and later continued at the Real Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, under Federico Madrazo. In 1858, Oller traveled to Paris, where he frequented the studio of Thomas Couture and attended L'Académie Suisse and L'Ecole Imperiale et Spéciale de Dessin. He also frequented Gustave Courbet’s studio and met Camille Pissarro. In 1865 he returned to Puerto Rico and in 1870 he established an academy of drawing and painting in San Juan. In 1874, he returned to Paris, where he met Dr. Paul-Ferdinand Gachet (physician and friend to Vincent Van Gogh and the subject of one of Van Gogh’s most famous portraits), who purchased Oller’s work El estudiante (The Student). In 1884, after eight years in Madrid, his commitment to Puerto Rico led him to return to the island. In 1895, he traveled for the last time to Paris to exhibit his famous work El Velorio (The Wake). In 2006, the Ponce Art Museum organized an exhibition that traveled to the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the exhibition included Oller’s work as well as works by José Campeche and Miguel Pou. Oller’s artistic career spanned the period from the realism of Courbet to the Impressionists, with many of whom he established close friendships while he lived in Paris.

Artist Statement

“Art these days differs from antiquity in numerous concepts and above all in its philosophic meaning. It seems that art among an agglomeration of people, somewhat ample, receives right away a social, political, and religious mission, thus contributing to the civilization of that society. 

Art from our times must represent or, rather, criticize our actions in order to be beneficial. This is the only art that should be allowed and disseminated.

Our art is not joy, nor pleasure, nor fun. Art is more serious and more difficult than it was then.

Fantasy art is outdated; our duty these days is to assist reason: it is necessary that the artwork be conceived in such a manner as if the artist has invented nothing and in the presence of vulgar-looking realism, to compromise that same apparent vulgarity into a thoughtful observation.

 

That is our true art.”

 

Francisco Oller Speech at the Ecole Normale
Catalog, Francisco Oller, a realist impressionism, Ponce Art Museum, 1983

Formation

Education

1858-1865

  • Academy of Fine Arts, Paris, France
  • Thomas Couture Workshop, Paris, France
  • Académie Suisse, Paris, France
  • Atelier de Notre Dame-des-Champs, Paris, France

1863

  • École Impériale Spéciale de Dessin, París, France

1851

  • Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, Spain

Professional Experience

1907-1911

  • Drawing Teacher. Public Schools of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

1903-1904

  • Drawing Professor. Escuela Normal, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1898

  • Founder. Drawing and Painting Academy, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1889

  • Founder. Art School for Young Women, Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1868

  • Founder. Drawing School, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Exhibitions

Solo Shows

1983

  • Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico

1959

  • Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1948

  • Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1893

  • Palacio de Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Palacio de la Correspondencia de Madrid, Madrid, Spain

1868

  • Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Group Shows

2013

  • Interconexiones: Lecturas Curatoriales de la Colección del MAPR, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico

2007

  • Contexto puertorriqueño: del rococó colonial al arte global, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Mi Puerto Rico: Master Painters of the Island, 1780-1952, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico; Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, United States

2006-2007

  • Mi Puerto Rico: Master Painters of the Island, 1780-1952, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States

1992

  • Oller, Rodón, Campeche, Pabellón de Puerto Rico, Sevilla, Spain

1987

  • Puerto Rican Painting: Between Past and Present, The Squibb Gallery, Princeton, New Jersey, United States

1973

  • La herencia artística de Puerto Rico: época precolombina al presente, Museo del Barrio, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States

1962

  • Dos siglos de pintura puertorriqueña, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1929, 1931, 1933

  • Exposición de Arte e Historia, Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1908

  • Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1878, 1881

  • Exposición Nacional, Madrid, Spain

1875

  • Salón des Refusés, Paris, France

1854

  • I Exposición Publica de la Industria, Agricultura y Bellas Artes, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Awards, Distinctions and Achievements

1908

  • Gold Medal. Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1897

  • First Prize. Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1893

  • Gold Medal. Fourth Centennial of the Discovery of Puerto Rico  Exhibition, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1872

  • Painter of the Royal House, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1871

  • Gold Medal. Public exhibition of Agriculture, Industry and Art, San Juan, Puerto Rico

1855

  • Mention and Silver Medal. II Feria Exposición de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

1854

  • Silver Medal. I Feria Exposición de Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico    

Collections

  • Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Corporación de las Artes Musicales, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Musé d’Orsay, Paris, Francia / Musé d’Orsay, Paris, France
  • Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico
  • Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Museo de San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Bibliography

Books

Delgado Mercado, Osiris. Historia de la pintura en Puerto Rico. Vol. 8, La Gran Enciclopedia de Puerto Rico. Madrid: Ediciones R, 1976.

 

Ferreras Pagan, J. Biografía de las riquezas de Puerto Rico, dos tomos. San Juan,

 

Catalogues

Benítez, Marimar; Hartup, Cheryl. Mi Puerto Rico : master painters of the island, 1780-1952. P.R. : Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, 2006

 

José Campeche, Francisco Oller. Ateneo Puertorriqueño, San Juan, 1940.

 

Dávila, Arturo. José Campeche: Catálogo razonado, San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 1971

 

Oller 1833-1917, Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras, San Juan, 1948.

 

Francisco Oller, Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras, San Juan, 1959.

 

Paniagua Oller, Ángel. Biografía y catálogo de obras de Francisco Oller, 6 de junio de 1917 (manuscrito).

 

Newspapers

Atribuyen a Oller y Campeche, Óleos en la Iglesia de Coamo, El Mundo (San Juan, PR),, 30 de mayo de 1963.      

                

Barrera, Héctor. Cuadro de un puertorriqueño en el Louvre, Escuela, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 5 de septiembre de 1956, pág. 6.

 

Boehm Oller, Emma. Francisco Oller, un pintor impresionista, Américas. XIX, octubre de 1976, págs.. 22-27.

 

Campeche, Oller y Ríos, en la Universidad de Puerto Rico. Periódico El Mundo (San Juan, PR), 5 de mayo de 1948.

 

Carreras, Carlos N. Vida y Obra de Francisco Oller y Cesteros, El Mundo (San Juan, PR), 7 de julio de 1935.

 

Corretjer, Juan Antonio. El Velorio, Periódico El Mundo (San Juan, PR), 25 de julio de 1959.

 

__________________. Oller  Retratista, Periódico El Mundo (San Juan, PR), 1 de agosto de 1959.

 

__________________. Oller Pintor de Naturaleza Muerta, Periódico El Mundo (San Juan, PR), 8 de agosto de 1959.

 

Lopez Laborde, Jacinto. Homenaje al Ilustre Señor Francisco Oller de su Discípulo y Amigo, The Times (San Juan, PR), Puerto Rico, 8 de junio de 1917.

 

Martínez Plee, M. Don Francisco Oller, La Correspondencia de Puerto Rico El Mundo (San Juan, PR),26 de mayo de 1917.

 

Montalvo, William H. Cuadro de Francisco Oller se exhibe en el Museo del Louvre, El Imparcial, San Juan, 16 de agosto de 1956.

 

Oller, Francisco. Conocimientos necesarios para dibujar de la naturaleza y elementos de perspectiva al alcance de todos, El País (San Juan, PR), 1868 y 1902

 

Paniagua Picazo, Antonio. Francisco Oller, Exponente Máximo de la Pintura Puertorriqueña, El Imparcial, San Juan, 16 de junio de 1946.

 

Seijo Bruno, Miñi. La protesta social en la pintura de Francisco Oller, Claridad, 17 de junio de 1975.

 

Magazines

Delgado Mercado, Osiris. Sinopsis histórica de las artes en Puerto Rico: Departamento de Instrucción Pública, San Juan, 1957.

 

___________________. Oller, Cézanne, Pissarro, Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, III, núm. 7, abril-junio, 1960, págs. 8-12.

 

Fernández Náter, Amparo. El pintor Oller, Magazine Hispanoamericano, 1914, págs. 138-141.

 

Gaya Nuño, Juan Antonio. Dos paisajes franceses de Francisco Oller, Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, abril- junio de 1962, págs. 1-4.

 

Hostos, Adolfo de. Francisco Oller, Boletín de la Academia de Artes y Ciencias de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, vol. V, núm. 2, abril-junio de 1969, págs. 198-204.

 

Ruíz de la Mata, Ernesto. Apuntes sobre Francisco Oller, Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, XIV, núm. 52, julio-septiembre de 1971, págs. 23-28.