Mariano Andreu

Mataró 1888 - Biarritz 1976

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Mariano Andreu considered himself a self-taught artist, except for a course he took at the Círculo de Sant Lluc, at the Francesc Galí art academy and at the London Municipal School of Fine Arts, where he learned the enamel technique. He established his residence in Paris and from there he worked on easel painting and drawing. In 1911 he exhibited together with Laura Albéniz, Ismael Smith and the painter Néstor at the Faianç Català, exhibiting paintings, drawings and enamels. He held few individual exhibitions and only exhibited in the group ones organized by the Carnegie Institute. He also participated in the demonstrations of the group "Les Arts i els Artistes" (1916) and in an individual one in Sala Parés (1934). In Europe, the decade of the twenties is defined as the Roaring Twenties, due to the cultural dynamism of an era considered in many ways incomparable. In the artistic field, the continent is submerged in a return to the classical ideal of the Mediterranean. Mariano Andreu is a singular exponent of this figurative culture. His classical language is eclectic and draws on the various cultures of classicism: the symbolism of the early years and Beardsley's lesson, the inescapable influence of Cézanne, French Art Nouveau, the classical style he knows in London, Catalan Noucentisme and a solid knowledge of the history of art, especially the classicism and mannerism of the great masters such as Michelangelo, Pontormo and Perugino. In addition to his facet as a painter and draftsman, his illustrations for bibliophile editions and his engravings should be highlighted: etchings, woodcuts, drypoints and lithographs. He fully succeeded in the field of set design, both in decorations and in the designs of theatrical figures. In 1920 he definitely established his residence in Paris, devoting himself to drawing and painting. He exhibits regularly in the salons of Paris and in galleries in French capital, Munich, London, Brussels, Barcelona, New York, Los Angeles and Buenos Aires. From 1924 to 1938 he entered for the painting prizes awarded by the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh (USA); in 1933, he received a First Honorable Mention from the institution. In 1945 he had a house built in Biarritz, where he spent the summers and eventually settled in 1964, until his death.