Miguel Pradilla González (1884 - 1965) - Fiesta campestre

Miguel Pradilla González (1884 - 1965) - Fiesta campestre
Öl auf Tafel - Handsigniert - c.1910

Signed at the bottom by the artist
Dimensions of the painting: 17 x 24 cm
Dimensions with frame: 29 x 37 cm
Work exhibited in a quite modern frame
It is in good condition

Miguel Pradilla González was born in Rome on March 15th, 1884, the son of Francisco Pradilla Ortiz and Dolores González del Villar, from whose marriage four other children were also born: Lidia (3-11-1878), César (2-7-1880), Isabel (27-6-1882) and María (8-7-1888). His birth in that city, which he would not abandon until his youth, was not a coincidence, it was due to the Pradilla family’s transfer to that city in 1878, so that his father, Francisco Pradilla could continue his pictorial work. There he was appointed Director of the Spanish Academy of Fine Arts in Rome. In 1897, as a result of his father's appointment as Director of the Prado Museum, he returned to Madrid, where his father acquired a neo-mudéjar style palace, located at 36, Quintana Street on the corner of Paseo de Rosales, where Francisco Pradilla installed his residence and studio, in a pavillion which was coterminous to the estate.

From a very young age he combined sport with painting. He was indeed a true forerunner of his time, multifaceted as there ever was.

He excelled as a notable gymnast and he was part of the Sociedad Gimnástica Española, of which he was part of the board of directors, resigning in July 1909. This entity was a precursor to the Spanish Olympic Committee. He also belonged to Club Sportif Internacional, and he obtained various awards as Spanish Jump champion (athletics, 1907); Spanish 100 metres champion (athletics); silver medal in weights; gold medal in strength (gymnastics); gold medal in long jump (athletics, 1908), breaking the University of Oxford’s record. He practiced the horizontal bar and the rings; he was an accomplished swimmer (swimming champion in Rome, at the age of 11); footballer and mountaineer. His successes in sport were outlined in various newspapers of the time, such as Sport, El País, Mundo Sportivo, Revista española ilustrada de automovilismo, ciclismo, aviación y demás deportes (15-12-1907) or La Correspondencia de España (July 1910). He also participated in cycling and motorcycling championships (1907) such as "La Vuelta a los Puertos de Guadarrama y Navacerrada" in September 1913 and 1914 (ABC newspaper, 10-6-1914) and in the race organized by Madrid’s Moto Club (1916), of which he was a member, even having his own cycling team.

In 1919, he travelled to the Av Monocar factory of London to acquire the first race car (Block model) he would bring to Spain, along with the first modern motorcycles, and with which he competed in several motor racing races in Spain and England (in 1919, 1920 and 1921, Brooklands Autodrome), qualifying second (1919). We keep in the family archive multiple graphic, journalistic and photographic evidences of all this.

His love of painting and sport, two disciplines that do not hold an apparent parallelism, go hand in hand in him. This was most likely due to his love of nature and outdoor life, not only because he did well in both facets but also because they came together, let’s say when, in Madrid, he made small cars and designed the first drawings of open cars which were sent to France.

It is powerfully striking that, in his multifaceted personality, he combined his sporting successes with his true and unique profession, to which he devoted himself all his life until his death: painting.

Miguel Pradilla himself reckoned, in his interview with the newspaper Pueblo in 1946 that "at the age of eight I drew from nature with ease, since being next to my father in Italy, I felt the vocation, accompanying him through the Apennines mountains; at the same time I learned mountaineering... A year later I came to Madrid and studied the Baccalaureate, which I finished in two years, at the San Isidro High School "

His great passion for painting led him to abandon his engineering studies. In 1903 he joined the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. He painted his first professional work at the age of 22 and it was acquired by the Director General of Banco de Río de la Plata (Argentina). He went on to win first medals for his works in Florence, Munich and Venice, traveling throughout Europe.

On the death of his father, which occurred on November 1st, 1921, Miguel Pradilla continued to live at 36, Quintana street, in Madrid, where he also established his studio. The Spanish Civil War (1936), broke out when he was in Madrid, and he saw with sadness how both his house and his studio, and everything he kept from his father, was reduced to ruins.

He then moved his studio to 27, Avenida José Antonio, in Madrid, which today is the Gran Vía, until his death (27-4-1965). This studio became a permanent exhibition hall of his work, being visited by personalities and aristocrats of the time, of whom he made magnificent portraits.

He married Carolina Ruiz de Gregorio and had three children, Mario, Miguel, who died at an early age and my father, César Pradilla Ruiz (5-5-1925).

Miguel Pradilla González (1884 - 1965)
Titel des Kunstwerks
Fiesta campestre
Öl auf Tafel
Angemessener Zustand
29×37×4 cm
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