1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Alvarez, Don José
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Alvarez, Don José
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ALVAREZ, DON JOSÉ (1768-1827), Spanish sculptor, was born at Priego, in the province of Cordova, in 1768. His full name was José Alvarez de Pereira y Cubero. Bred to his father's trade of a stone-mason, he devoted all his spare time to drawing and modelling. His education in art was due partly to the teaching of the French sculptor Verdiguier at Cordova, and partly to lessons at Madrid, where he attended the lectures of the academy of San Fernando. In 1799 he obtained from Charles IV. a pension of 12,000 reals to enable him to visit Paris and Rome. In the former city he executed in 1804 a statue of Ganymede, which placed him at once in the front rank of the sculptors of his time, and which is now in the sculpture gallery of the Prado. Shortly afterwards his pension was more than doubled, and he left Paris for Rome, where he remained till within a year of his death. He had married in Paris Elizabeth Bougel, by whom he had a son in 1805. This son, known as Don José Alvarez y Bougel, also distinguished himself as a sculptor and a painter, but he died at Burgos before he had reached the age of twenty-five, a little more than two years after his father's death in Madrid in 1827. One of the most successful works of the elder Alvarez was a group representing Antilochus and Memnon, which was commissioned in marble (1818) by Ferdinand VII., and secured for the artist the appointment of court-sculptor. It is now in the museum of Madrid. He also modelled a few portrait busts (Ferdinand VII., Rossini, the duchess of Alba), which are remarkable for their vigour and fidelity.