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VICTOR MANUEL GARCIA

Cuban artist born in Havana on October 31, 1897.

He was an early member of the “Vanguardia” movement of artists who, beginning in the 1920s, combined European concepts of Modern art with native Primitivism to create a distinctly Cuban aesthetic.

At age 12 he enrolled in the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro”, the most prominent art school in Cuba, where he studied under the renowned artist Leopoldo Romañach.

In 1925 he traveled to France for a year of study in Paris. There, he was exposed to various Modernist trends and he found particular resonance in Paul Gaugin’s Primitivist style of painting.

In 1929, following another period of study and travel in Europe, Victor Manuel created his most famous painting, La Gitana Tropical (The Tropical Gipsy), popularly known as “La Gioconda Americana” (“The American Mona Lisa”), which is in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana.

He died in Havana in 1969.

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