Ortiz, Francisco PradillaSpanish, 1848-1921
Spanish painter and museum official. He first studied in Saragossa with the stage designer Mariano Pescador (d 1886), and in 1866 moved to Madrid where he began to work with the stage designers and decorators Ferri and Busato. He entered the Escuela Superior de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado and also attended the Academia de Acuarelistas. In 1873 Pradilla and his fellow student Casto Plasencia (1846-90) won history painting scholarships to study at the newly founded Academia Espaola de Bellas Artes in Rome. In 1874 he sent from Rome a copy of Raphael's Dispute over the Holy Sacrament, a work Pradilla completed in collaboration with Alejandro Ferrant (b 1844), another Spanish scholarship holder. During Pradilla's second and third years abroad he travelled through France, visiting the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1875, and Italy, where he was particularly impressed by Venice and the works of Veronese, Titian and Jacopo Tintoretto. Pradilla won a major prize in 1878 at the Exposicien Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid; as a result of this success he received the commission for another large picture on a historical theme, the Surrender of Granada (1882; in situ) for the Palacio del Senado (now Pal. de las Cortes) in Madrid. This work shows Pradilla's concern to paint from life in his treatment of the landscape of Granada. He produced other paintings on related subjects, including Mad Queen Joanna Imprisoned at Tordesillas (priv. col., see Pardo Canalis, pl. xviii) and the Sigh of the Moor (Madrid, Rodriguez Bauz priv. col., see Pardo Canalis, pl. xvii). Pradilla also painted lively scenes of local life and colour. The years of his stay in Rome, where he was director of the Academia Espaola between 1881 and 1883, allowed him to get to know the country around Rome and many other places in Italy.