Humberto Chaves Cuervo - In memoriam

AÑO CHAVES: un tiempo para celebrar la vida y obra de un artista: Humberto Chaves - Pintor


Humberto Chaves Cuervo (1891 - 1971) was a master painter who left his mark in fields as diverse as painting, advertising, drawing, illustration and decoration, and with themes such as landscape, portraiture, still lifes, urban progress in Medellín, Antioquia's economic history and religious and historical painting, always within its realistic conception inspired by the search for beauty as an ideal of art.

He was a teacher of teachers and to him is due the continuity of academic teaching in our environment started by Francisco Antonio Cano, and he was the initiator of the training of Antioquia artists Ricardo Rendón, Pedro Nel Gómez, Eladio Vélez and Rafael Sáens, among others.

True to his aesthetic postulates, he defended the academic vision and profession of the painter against the advances of "local modernism", which led to his gradual marginalization and forgetfulness.

The Chaves Cuervo - Pintor Project is dedicated to the investigation and dissemination of his life and work, thus contributing to the rescue of our cultural heritage and the visibility of the roots of our regional identity.

Humberto Chaves Cuervo was a painter who was born and died in the city of Medellín - Colombia in the period between 1891 and 1971. After his apprenticeship with his father Rafael Chaves Murcia and with the prominent Antioquia painter Francisco Antonio Cano, Humberto Chaves Cuervo reaches his artistic maturity by his own efforts and experimentation, linking the new trends in art with his well-structured craft of painter, draftsman, illustrator and publicist.

As a classical painter, he tackled different subjects of artistic and historical interest such as this equestrian portrait of Simón Bolívar, called El Libertador, oil painting from 1950, which has a curious history.

Simón Bolívar el Libertador

Homenaje a las madres del mundo - Tribute to the mothers of the world - Hommage aux mères du monde - 向世界各地的母亲致敬 - Дань матерям мира - Homenagem às mães do mundo - Partem tributorum ex hoc mundo ad matres - Omaggio alle madri del mondo - Eerbetoon aan de moeders van de wereld - Huldeblyk aan die moeders van die wêreld - Hommage an die Mütter der Welt - تحية لأمهات العالم - Hyllning till världens mammor - 世界の母親へのオマージュ - Homenatge a les mares del món


Humberto Chaves Cuervo - sketch - 21 October 1920

He lived and painted all his life in the city of Medellín and his work is dedicated to Antioquia land of rugged mountains, his landscapes and peoples. When Humberto Chaves Cuervo was born and lived, the region knoew an economic growth without antecedents, an accelerated process of migration and urban consolidation, a profound transformation of the political and social conceptions, framed by a hard religious and moral conservatism, and all this impact his artistic and advertising work.

Far from being an artist locked in his studio, and like no other local artist, he lived fully between two worlds, combining his artistic sensibility as a painter with the recognition of the materiality of our environment, which he expresses in his advertising guidelines: in his work, interpret for his contemporaries through images, their aspirations and values. To know the work of maestro Chaves is to know the history, the "Great" History and the "daily" history of Antioquia, through it we can intuit the intimacy of our ancestors and everything that words can not say.

To this artist from Antioquia we dedicate this digital space for the knowledge and enjoyment of his exceptional life and work, with the certainty that this space will be of interest to different audiences, especially for those who seek the beauty in our complex and demoralized present, the serene Chaves art that transcends space and time.