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Fernando Fader, brushstrokes of an Argentine life

We remember and celebrate his work: one of the most important and loved by collectors of Argentine art, and of the few who knew how to portray, in an intimate and personal way, the atmosphere of the landscapes of our land

Art and Literature
Fernando_fader

Just a few months to live. And that the air of the mountains of Cordoba would make his lungs better, to spend that short time as best as possible. That was the advice of his doctors, after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He was hardly a 30-year-old who had returned a few years ago from Europe, where he had studied the great masters of painting . He was also the youngest of six siblings and to whom he relapsed the family business after his father's death.

It was not his thing: he lost his inherited fortune and finally went to the province of Córdoba to breathe the recommended clean air. He lived twenty more years, painted almost 800 works — in which he portrayed different places in the national landscape — and became one of the most sought after artists by Argentine art collectors . The dying 30s became the brilliant Fernando Fader.

Horses, by Fernando Fader, 1904. Oil on canvas, 90 x 130 cm)


The beginning

It was born on April 11, 1882, in the city of Bordeaux, France. With a German father and a French mother, at the age of three, they arrived in the province of Mendoza. The Faders were a pioneer family in the development of the oil industry in the country . It is said that they created the first oil pipeline in Argentina, which had 42 kilometers between the city of Cacheuta and the capital of Mendoza. They had several hydroelectric and energy projects. They knew how to grow and carry on many of them. However, the fate of the little Fader was not in engineering or numbers, but in the brushes, colors and images.

Fernando, in his twenties, had already made several paintings and drawings, and a first exhibition in Buenos Aires, which was praised by Cupertino del Campo, director of the National Museum of Fine Arts for twenty years and also painter. This opened certain doors for him on the local art scene. But it was not until his recovery, when in 1915 he met the German gallerist and dealer, Federico Müller, who offered him a contract to continue his pictorial career and, above all, to meet his expenses.

It was the time of World War I. Nobody bought art and you had to survive. Thanks to Müller's contacts, Fader sold more than 160 pieces of his production at more than considerable prices. Thus, he managed to position him as one of the most outstanding and required painters of the time .

The black pin, by Fernando Fader. Oil on cloth. 70 x 90 cm

“Retiro mi obra”

In 1914, Fernando presented himself at the National Salon with one of his works: The mantilla, which was later known as The shawls of Manila. By unanimous decision of the jury, she was selected for the Acquisition Award. This piece, according to historians, was valued at $6,000, but that distinction from the National Hall consisted of only $3,000. Fader rejected him and withdrew his play. Some say that he made this decision because of the embargo he had on his assets, after the debt acquired by the bankruptcy of the family business . However, others attribute it to the painter's convictions for the genuine value he gave to each of his pieces and, in turn, for the need to professionalize the artistic activity.

After Fader's death on February 28, 1935, Müller finally sold the Manila shawls to the MNBA, at $20,000. Cupertino del Campo, then director of the Museum, had also acquired The Food of Pigs: a work that had been awarded in Munich ten years earlier. The Argentine institution has several works by the painter, in which he excels all the mastery of an artist never more forgotten. < !

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Publication Date: 23/05/2019

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