Francisco de Paula Escribano Liñán

Seville, 1820 - 1900

  • A Dance in Triana


Born in Seville into a family of artists, Francisco de Paula Escribano Liñán trained as a painter at the Seville Academy, where he was awarded a second prize for drawing from life in 1844. He pursued his career in the Andalusian capital, under the aegis of this institution. Although he later claimed to have been professor of painting, he may have been only an assistant in the department of figure drawing at the Seville Academy – which was in fact headed by Manuel Barrón (see Barrón’s biography) – together with the painter Manuel Cabral y Aguado (see Cabral y Aguado’s biography). Very little is known about his institutional career, and nor is his artistic production well documented.

Escribano was interested in history painting and in 1858 he submitted three works to the Regional Exhibitions of Cadiz and Seville: La batalla de Covadonga (“The Battle of Covadonga”), La Jura de Santa Gadea (“The Oath at Santa Gadea”) and Los amores de Rebeca (“The Loves of Rebecca”). In Seville in 1878 he painted La partida de Colón del Puerto de Palos (“Columbus Departs from the Port of Palos”) and El desembarco de Colón en el Nuevo Mundo (“Columbus Disembarks in the New World”). All these works have yet to be located. Equally interested in religious painting, in 1856 he entered a canvas depicting San José, La Virgen y el Niño (“St Joseph, the Virgin and the Child”) in the Seville exhibition and made his début at the National Exhibition of 1860 in Madrid with two religious works entitled El ángel custodio presentando al Señor el alma de un justo (“The Guardian Angel Showing the Lord the Soul of a Just Man”) and San Francisco de Asís (“St Francis of Assisi”).

The portraits he painted reveal that his output must have been greater in this genre. He painted that of José Mendoza y Ríos now in the Biblioteca Colombina in Seville, that of Pope Pius X in the archbishop’s palace in that city, and that of the Conde de Ybarra in Seville city hall, among others.

He is documented from 1841 as being a copyist at the Seville Museum of Fine Arts. His best known and most praised work, La familia Ybarra en una galería ideal de pintura sevillana (“The Ybarra Family in an Ideal Sevillian Picture Gallery”), painted in 1856 (Seville, Cajasol Collection), gives an idea of these skills. It shows the aristocrats inside the Seville museum with an imaginary selection of famous Sevillian paintings and the artist teaching them about these works.

Carlos G. Navarro