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Quinquela Martín, the artist who invented La Boca

On March 1, 1890 Benito Quinquela Martín was born. Decades later he became the main member of the group of painters in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of La Boca.


Benito Quinquela Martín, painter from ports, grew up, lived and died in La Boca: there are those who say that the neighborhood is made in the image and likeness of his paintings. We tell you some details about his life, so you can meet one of our most popular artists.

  • He was abandoned as a baby in what was the Casa de Niños Foundlings and adopted at age 7 by the Chinchella family, of Genoese origin.
  • He worked in his parents' coal industry, which was close to the port of Rio de la Plata, before La Boca was as we know it today.
  • He did not have a formal education in Arts: he was a great self-taught, which is why criticism was not always positive.
  • Instead of a brush, to work I used a mason spoon with polished edges.
  • He was a figurative painter, but not realistic, because his compositions came out of his imagination. It is said that Quinquela Martín invented La Boca, since the neighborhood seems to be delineated in the image and likeness of his paintings.
  • He was a very generous man: he donated land to build schools and establishments linked to health, such as the current Hospital Municipal de Odontología Don Benito Quinquela Martín. He later gave his works to the State and built the Teatro de la Ribera.
  • He married his lifelong secretary at the age of 84, with the sole purpose of being able to leave his inheritance to someone.
  • His remains are buried in a coffin with a port that he himself painted: he said that, if he had lived among colors, he also wanted to die with them.

Publication Date: 01/03/2020

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By: Liliana Bruquetas 18 February, 2020

Me emocionó mucho la historia y también soy autodidacta.

By: Verónica 25 March, 2020

Hola! como se llama la pintura que publican acá? gracias

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