Museums and art groups throughout the country are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of late Costa Rican artist Francisco Amighetti, one of the most respected painters in the country’s history and recognized worldwide for his diverse artworks.
Born in 1907, Amighetti quickly grabbed the attention of his teachers at San José’s Liceo de Costa Rica, where he was encouraged to pursue painting.
Much of Amighetti’s skill was self-taught, but he learned different styles of art by studying in Argentina, Mexico and the United States.
By the age of 25, he had his first exhibit in Argentina.
Amighetti was not just a painter; he was one of the first artists in the country to develop wood engravings.He also painted oils, was a muralist and mastered drawing. His styles ranged from surrealism to impressionism.
Amighetti, whose family is of Italian descent, was also an art historian and critic, and a published poet.
His works put Costa Rican art on the world map. In the 1960s he traveled the world, showing exhibits in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. His paintings are now among the most highly prized in the country.
He left a legion of students, who still echo the master’s work. Don Paco, as he was called, continued working into his 90s. He died in 1998.
Exhibits in Amighetti’s honor presently under way include: “Viaje hacia la Noche” (“Journey into the Night”), an exhibit of selected Amighetti works from 1931 to 1988, including paintings, murals, drawings, wood engravings and poems, at the Costa Rican Art Museum in east La Sabana Park, in western San José; “Francisco Amighetti: Herencias y Legados” (“Inheritance and Legacy”), wood engravings by Amighetti and five generations of engraving artists inspired by the late master, at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center’s Sophia Wanamaker Gallery in the eastern San José neighborhood of Barrio Dent; and Costa Rican Watercolorists’ Association exhibit in honor of Amighetti, with paintings in diverse styles by 31 artists, at the Calderón Guardia Museum in the eastern San José neighborhood of Barrio Escalante.
For more information about the museums and exhibits, see the Calendar pages.