Francisco Bores

Francisco Bores

1898 - 1972


Madrid, 1898 – Paris, 1972

Son of the last governor of the Philippines, Bores was forced to study engineering and later law, which he abandoned at the age of eighteen, to study at the painter Cecilio Plá’s academy for three years. Around 1923 he came into contact with the Madrid ultraist circle, attended the gatherings at Café Gijón and Pombo, and became friends with Ortega y Gasset and other members of the avant-garde of the time. He makes illustrations and covers for “Revista de Occident”, “España”, “Alfar”, “El Sol”, “Indice”, etc.

In 1925 he participated with sixteen canvases in the Salon of Iberian Artists, and that same year he moved to Paris, where he was received by Pancho Cossío and met Picasso and Juan Gris, who exerted a notable influence on his work. Thus integrated into the so-called School of Paris, he was attracted by Surrealism and Cubism, as well as by the great compositions of Matisse, with whom he established a close friendship. In 1927 he inaugurated his first exhibition in Paris, achieving great success that would put him in contact with Kahnweiler’s Percier and Simon galleries. At that time he met Zervos, Max Jacob, Cocteau, Breton and Man Ray.

In 1930 he travelled to Provence, where he frequented Picasso and began what Bores himself called Fruit-Painting: a return to naturalism, after the Cubist influence. He discovers the light and the Provençal landscape: it is the most fruitful moment of his career, which will later evolve towards greater schematism. Following the Nazi occupation, he moved with Matisse to San Juan de Luz, returning to Paris at the end of the war. In 1971 he held his first individual exhibition at the Theo gallery in Madrid, dying in Paris the following year. His heirs bequeathed to the Spanish heritage a set of paintings, gouaches, drawings and documents, deposited in the MNCARS in Madrid.