Rafael Senet y Perez
1856 – 1926Rafael Senet y Perez was born in Seville on 7th October, 1856. He studied under Joaquin Dominguez Becquer and Eduardo Cano de la Preda at the college of fine arts in Seville and then under J. Villegas y Cordero.
Senet then moved to Madrid where he continued his formal education by studying the old masters in the Prado. In 1881 he went to Rome and then travelled extensively in Italy, visiting Florence, Venice and Naples before returning to Seville at the beginning of the 1890s. He settled there and aligned himself with a group of landscape artists which had formed around Sanchez Perrier.
The development of international tourism in the 19th century meant that a new type of traveller visited the beauty spots of Europe. High on the list of desirable destinations was Venice and paintings depicting Venice were increasingly popular as reminders of such visits for the new tourist. As well as native Italian artists who mainly painted Venice, such as Rubens Santoro (1859-1942), there were also many foreign artists who, like Senet, had a fascination for the city. One of the most famous of these was the Peruvian artist Federico del Campo who had also studied in Madrid like Senet before travelling to Italy.
Senet was involved in various exhibitions in Seville, Cadiz, Madrid and elsewhere and was awarded several prestigious medals. His paintings of Venice were very highly regarded during his lifetime and the prominent Tooth Gallery in London had exclusive sales rights for his work. The artist was a great draughtsman and colourist and his work captures not only the exquisite architecture of the city but also its unique atmosphere and beauty.