Awards & Collections
1858 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Third class medal
1860 - Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes, Madrid. Second class medal
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, Barcelona
Museo de Montserrat
Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia
Museo de Arte de Gerona, Girona
Biblioteca Museo Víctor Balaguer, Vilanova i la Geltrú
Ramon Martí Alsina began his artistic training by attending evening classes at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de Barcelona (School of Fine Arts in Barcelona) until 1845. From a humble family, he started at a very young age doing portraits of relatives and managed to achieve some recognition among the bourgeoisie of Mataró, where his mother was born. When he settled in Barcelona he focused on the theme of landscape, capturing genre scenes of the popular classes which he converted into the real protagonists of his compositions: the Encants, the Boquería market or the fishermen of the Barceloneta.
From 1848 he made a series of trips to Paris and became fascinated by the painting of Horace Vernet (1789–1863) and Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863). His recognition on the art market led him to obtain the position of professor of Linear Drawing and Figure Drawing at the School of Fine Arts of Barcelona in 1852. He was appointed academic at the Real Academia Catalana de Bellas Artes de San Jorge (Royal Fine Arts of Sant Jordi) in 1855 and, from that moment on, popularized realistic painting of French tradition in Catalonia. He visited the Paris World’s Fair of the same year and the famous 'Pavilion of Realism' of Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) attracted his enthusiasm, as well as the painting of l’École de Barbizon (the Barbizon school). From then on, Ramon Martí Alsina focused all his efforts on emulating the style of Courbet and became the ultimate exponent of realistic landscape in Catalonia.
At the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Exhibition of Fine Arts) in 1858, he presented six works including Estudio del natural (Study from life), with which he won the Third class medal, and Último día de Numancia (Last Day of Numancia), a historical painting that was acquired by the Spanish State and is currently in the Museo Nacional del Prado (Prado Museum). Two years later, at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts in Madrid, he won the Second class medal thanks to the landscape País (Country).
Ramón Martí Alsina democratized the theme of landscape and plein air in Catalonia, and his work was one of the most consumed at the end of the nineteenth century in Spain. He maintained several workshops with numerous collaborators who ensured production in the face of widespread demand for his work. Disciples such as Ramon Tusquets (1838–1904), Modest Urgell (1839–1919), Joaquim Vayreda (1843–1894) and Baldomer Galofre (1846–1902), among many others, deserve to be highlighted. All of them continued Martí Alsina’s approach to landscape, modernising it and pursuing new lines of pictorial expression.