Antonio González Ruiz
(Corella, Navarre, 1711-Madrid, 1788)
Born in Navarre, at the age of fifteen he moved to Madrid with the aim of improving his professional opportunities and entered Michel-Ange Houasse’s Academy, remaining under his protection until Houasse’s death four years later. González Ruiz left for Paris in 1732 with the aim of broadening his artistic horizons then proceeded on to Rome and Naples, acquiring an academic style that would define his subsequent output. On his return to Madrid he made contact with the circle of the sculptor Giovanni Domenico Olivieri, as a result of which he obtained the position of Court Painter in 1739. During this period he became actively involved in the foundation of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. The peak of his professional career was reached in 1771 when he replaced Ventura Rodríguez as director of the Academia. Some of González Ruiz’s most important paintings, particularly those relating to his activities in the service of the Academia de San Fernando, were reproduced as prints.