Cuban-Spanish painter Federico Beltrán-Masses was highly sought after and his remarkable work has enjoyed a revival of interest in recent years, with retrospectives dedicated to his career held in Barcelona in 2011, and Paris and London in 2012.

Born in Cuba and raised in Barcelona, Beltrán-Masses’ Spanish roots permeate deeply throughout his work. He learned his craft under the tutelage of the great Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida at the Barcelona Academy of Fine Arts and quickly earned the support of the cultural elite in Spain, France, England, and, eventually, the United States. In 1920, an entire pavilion was devoted to his work, which received much critical acclaim. The artist’s unique figural style set him apart from his contemporaries, whose work was by then firmly entrenched into the stark abstract planes of Cubism. He soon emerged as the leading portraitist of society’s elite, a reputation that earned him the friendship of Rudolph Valentino and took him all the way to Hollywood in 1925. Valentino introduced the artist to a crowd of Hollywood elite who soon become both sitters and patrons, including Douglas Fairbanks, Marion Davies, Pola Negri and Joan Crawford.

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