Luis Vargas Rosas Biography

Luis Vargas Rosas




Luis Vargas Rosas, painter and printmaker, was born in Osorno, Chile on October 18, 1897. He briefly studied law in 1915 at the School of Law at the University of Chile before deciding to become a painter. He enrolled at the School of Fine Arts where his teachers were Juan Francisco González, Pedro Luna and Joseph Caracci. In 1919 Vargas Rosas traveled to Italy, Germany, and France. In Munich he attended the Hoffman Academy and in Paris he studied at the academies Grand Chaumiere and Colarossi. During this time he met Picasso, Leger, Modigliani, and de Chirico.

He returned to Chile in 1923 and founded the Free Academy Montparnasse and cofounded the Groupe Montparnasse, which existed in Chile between 1924 and 1930. The group was interested in European Cubism, Futurism and Surrealism and included Pablo Burchard, Jorge Caballero, Camilo Mori, Manuel Ortiz de Zarate Pinto, Henriette Petit, and Waldo Vila.

Vargas Rosas returned to Paris in 1928 where he studied with Hayter at Atelier 17. Two years later he married Chilean painter Henriette Pettit and the couple stayed in Paris until World War II began. They returned to Chile in 1939 where he taught, merging traditional Chilean art with European Modernist concepts. He was the Director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago between1946 and 1970. He died in Santiago in on September 6, 1977.