Luis Falero is one of the most distinguished and original artists of our day. Although he has his studio in Paris,
he was born at Grenada in Spain, in 1851. He was intended for the Spanish
navy, and was carefully educated to that end in Madrid, England, and Paris. In "The Belated Witch" he gives a
fanciful episode of the old German legend that at certain periods the witches and warlocks hold a general holiday
or Sabbath among the Brocken Mountains. Here one of the accursed sisterhood, who has neglected her
opportunity to join the common parade to the rendezvous, sails out of a chimney on her journey alone, mounted
on her broomstick, the traditional steed of the sworn servitors of Satan.
Quite another personification
of the same deity is
that given by the Spanish master Luis Falero, in "The Planet Venus." This is
one of the pictures of what might be called his astronomical series, which so
materially assisted in establishing his reputation as a great imaginative artist. In
his hand the goddess becomes a gloriously voluptuous creation, dazzling in the splendor
of her perpetual youth and beauty, which radiate a light like an electric flame.
"The Double Star," by Luis Falero, is another of his wonderful adaptations of a suggestion of astronomical
science to the uses of art. The original picture was a sensation of the Salon of 1881.
[T]he painting by which Luis Falero effectively established his reputation, "The Vision of Faust."
These pictures alone, and they were but part of a number more, cost many thousands of dollars. It has
been estimated, by one of the heads of the house, that they alone have paid some ten times their cost
in the amount of custom they have attracted, and relatively to the advance in market value of modern
paintings of the first class, they could now be sold for double what was paid for them. The picture,
in a technical sense, is cerainly Falero's masterpiece, as far as his productiveness has yet proceeded.
The spirit of the sea, as embodied by Luis Falero in "Marina," is a young and lovely woman, crowned
with pearls, and wearing a robe of green and gold, the colors of the royal seaweeds, who wanders on
the strand as in a realm of dreams.
The "Prayer to Isis" is one of the famous pictures of Luis Falero which grew out of his study of the
antiquities of Egypt. Here a girl performs upon one of those ancient harps over a sounding skin like a
drum-head, of which examples have been found by explorers. The instrument which the young child uses
are sistrums. They were made of metal, and produced a rattling sound which kept time to the notes of
music and the chant of the worshippers.
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