STUDY OF A NORTH-AFRICAN MAN
Black and white chalks on buff paper
31 x 23cm
Cecilio Pizarro was born in Toledo and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Santa Isabel in his home-city before enrolling at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. At the former Academy, Pizarro was so respected by his teachers (he won four silver medals in their annual exhibitions) that he was entrusted with the role of a teaching assistant during his studies. During his studies he also found time to complete various commissions for the artist Jenaro Pérez de Villaamil y d'Huguet, to paint decorations for the Toledo Theatre and to paint views of the monuments of the city.
Upon his move to Madrid in 1848, Pizarro specialised in printmaking. He produced illustrations for the Historia de Espana, Semanario Pintoresco Español, La Ilustracion , The Universal Museum, Art in Spain, Memories and beauties of Spain, Picturesque Toledo and a History of Madrid by Amador de los Ríos among numerous others. He complemented his commercial illustration work with producings portraits and watercolours for his clients, drawing designs for decorative artisans and working on a large commission by John Caradoc, Lord Howden, the English ambassador to Spain (by whom he was given 'Special Protection').
Pizarro's works were acquired by several Spanish museums during his lifetime and, in 1864, he was appointed curator of the Museo Nacional de la Trinidad, which was later incorporated into the Prado Museum, Madrid.