Carlos Cerdà

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Biography of Llorenç Cerdá

On May 25, 1862, a son was born to the couple Miguel Cerdá and Margarita Bisbal, who was baptized with the name Lorenzo.

The painter’s parents in front of a half-covered painting of their son.

At the age of six he began his studies at the public school in Pollença and at the age of nine he moved to Palma, on the advice of his uncle Andrés Bisbal, to prepare to enter the Secondary Education Institute, a center where he studied Baccalaureate and Nautical Studies. , attending at the same time night classes in figure drawing and clothing at the Academy of Fine Arts.

The decision had been made: Art was his vocation and he should dedicate himself to it. A common front composed of the poet Costa i Llobera and the doctors Juan Albís and Antonio María Cerdá was necessary to obtain the consent of his parents.

At the age of eighteen, the young Cerdá moved, with the composer Miguel Capllonc, a piano student at that time, to the capital of Spain and entered the special School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving at the Academy of San Fernando. Given the student’s merits, the Provincial Council of the Balearic Islands granted him, by competitive examination, during the years 1882 to 1884, a boarding place to perfect his painting studies in Madrid, obtaining at this time the title of drawing teacher.

In 1885 and 1886 he obtained, also by competitive examination, and given his great technical and cultural preparation, the pension in Rome granted by the State to artists who, deserving it, wished to expand their knowledge. There, in the Eternal City, he lived with artists such as Joaquín Sorolla, Mariano Benlliure, Enrique Simonet and Francisco Maura, nourishing himself, both technically and spiritually, not only from such masterful coexistence but also from contact with the works of Fra Angélico, Leonardo, Rafael , Titian and other masters of the “Quatrocento” and Renaissance admired by Cerdá.

On the left, the painter’s parents, dressed in typical Mallorcan costume. In the center Llorenç Cerdá, his wife and three of his brothers. In his arms he holds one of his nephews. Sitting in the chair, his son Lorenzo.

It was around that time, in 1888, when Lorenzo Cerdá painted his famous canvas “Onderos Baleares”, made on the island of Capri and awarded the First Medal at the Universal Exhibition in Barcelona.

Upon returning to the island, Cerdá entered, by competitive examination, as a professor of artistic drawing at the School of Arts and Crafts of Palma de Mallorca, occupying said position for forty-two years, later going on to direct said school, a position he held for twenty-five years.

Retired from his teaching work, but not from his creative work, at the age of seventy, the illustrious painter continued working with the tenacity that characterized him, in his studio on Sol Street. There he produced important works with which he would attend National Exhibitions, earning among other honors the Grand Cross of Isabel la Católica.

That distinguished master of painting was Don Lorenzo Cerdá, companion of Sorolla and Benlliure, Corresponding Academic of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Honorary Member of the Association of Painters and Sculptors of Spain, Illustrious Son of Pollensa, Member of Honor of the Circle of Fine Arts of Palma, First Councilor of the Provincial Academy of the Balearic Islands and Director of the Provincial Museum, died on December 27, 1955, at the advanced age of 93, leaving behind an entire life dedicated to art and teaching; a life to which his friends and admirers paid tribute, in 1977, erecting a monument, the work of the sculptor Remigia Caubet, with the figure of the painter at work, in Sant Vicenç cove.

Lorenzo Cerdá, without a doubt, both for his activities in favor of art and his important pictorial work, will remain as one of the great masters in the history of Balearic painting.

(Extracted from the writing of Damián Ramis Caubet published in the catalog of the exhibition Twenty Mallorcan Painters)