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Spanish, 1622 - 1690
Valdés Niza Leal, Juan de; Nisa y Leal Valdés, Juan de
Valdés was born in Seville in 1622, where he probably received his artistic training, although there are no records of his early life. He is first recorded in Córdoba in 1647, the year he signed and dated a painting of Saint Andrew, which shows affinities with the style of the Sevilian master, Francisco de Herrera the Elder. Valdés remained in Córdoba until 1656, by which time he had developed his mature style.
From 1656 until his death, Valdés lived in Seville, where he established a reputation second only to Murillo. In 1660, the two painters participated in the founding of a drawing academy, of which Valdés was president from 1663 to 1666. They also collaborated in the decoration of the church of the Brotherhood of Charity. After about 1682, the artist was beset by ill health and increasingly relied on his son, Lucas, to direct the work of his shop. He died in Seville in 1690.
[Brown, Jonathan, and Richard G. Mann. Spanish Paintings of the Fifteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1990: 112.]