Antonio Salas Aviles



Antonio Salas Aviles was born in Quito, Ecuador in 1784. Legitimate son of Juan Salas of tailor profession and Josefa Avilés, Quito residents of the parish of Santa Barbara. Muy Joven entered the painting workshop of Maestro Bernardo Rodríguez as an apprentice and then that of Manuel Samaniego, who left when he was imprisoned by order of the Court, accused of marital infidelity. There he learned to deal with religious issues very much in vogue at that time and as he was possessed of fertile imagination he did not limit himself to copying as much of our artists, as he also worked original works. Between 1804 and 14 he painted for the church of Quinche with other artists. It is known from the Accounts book that he painted the Recamarín and the Virgin's Hanging. He was already considered the head of the Painters Guild of Quito, composed mainly of Diego Benalcázar, Antonio Silva, Mariano Rodríguez, José Cortés Alcocer and Mateo Navarrete. It is important to mention that at the advent of independence and after the Republic, Quito's painting opened up to new possibilities that Salas took advantage of until he became also the most famous painter of those periods. Very young he had married Tomasa Paredes of whom he had three children. Widower married Maria Mercedes Estrada again, who gave him numerous offspring, sixteen children. By 1822 he had relations with the domestic employee Josefa Cansino, of a mulatto race in which he had a son, for whose maintenance he spent two real daily. In 1823 he began to restore 17 large paintings, 10 medium and 12 boys from the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary for 148 pesos.

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