Elegant Realism By Martin Rico

Martín Rico y Ortega (12 November 1833 – 13 April 1908) was a remarkable Spanish painter who had international success mostly for his landscapes and cityscapes.

His paintings seem to have this peaceful elegance to them. This is probably due to the relatively high key which he painted in (most of the colors are on the lighter side) with some sharp, dark accents strategically scattered throughout the paintings.

You should take note of how well-composed the paintings are. It would not be easy to paint such intricate scenes whilst retaining a sense of unity and harmony. He seems to have done so by ensuring there is enough variance throughout the paintings so that they do not appear stagnant and also by balancing the “busy” areas against much softer areas of subtle tonal changes.

Below is a close-up of one of his paintings which reveals his intricate brushwork and use of color. Also notice how nothing seems to be over-blended. There is a distinct feel to all his brush markings and colors.

Martin Rico Close Up 2
Martin Rico, Puerta De Una Casa En Toledo | Cityscape Painting | Realistic Painting

Here are some more of his paintings:

Martin Rico, La Riva Degli Schiavoni En Venecia, 1873 | Cityscape Painting | Realistic Painting

Martin Rico, Veduta Veneziana, Il Baciano San Marco e La Salute | Cityscape Painting | Realistic Painting
Martin Rico, The Washerwomen of La Varenne
Martin Rico, Tras Abandonar Paris En El Verano, 1870
Martin Rico, Landscape, 1858
Martin Rico Landscape Close-Up
Martin Rico, Gathering Oranges, Granada - Walters, 1859

Christie’s – Details of painting sales and some high-resolution painting photos.

Museo Del Prado – Some more details on Martin Rico and high-resolution painting photos.

Thanks for Reading!

Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my fundamentals course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

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Dan Scott is the founder of Draw Paint Academy. He's a self-taught artist from Australia with a particular interest in landscape painting. Draw Paint Academy is run by Dan and his wife, Chontele, with the aim of helping you get the most out of the art life. You can read more on the About page.

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8 comments on “Elegant Realism By Martin Rico”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! This is exactly the type of realism that I aspire to create in my paintings! I am in awe of his work and enjoy everything you share, thanks again.

  2. Thanks for showing us the work of Martin Rico! I had never heard of him before but will now research what I can. Love the colours mixed into his buildings and skies x


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