Born in 1945 in Valencia, Spain, Jose Mateu San Hilario Royo, began demonstrating his artistic talent early. At the age of nine his father, a prominent physician and avid art enthusiast, employed private tutors to instruct Royo in drawing, painting, and sculpture. When Royo turned fourteen, he entered the San Carlos Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia. Upon turning eighteen Royo continued his artistic studies privately with Aldolfo Ferrer Amblat, Chairman of Art Studies at the San Carlos Academy. He also visited the major museums in Europe at this time to study the famous masters Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, Monet and Sorolla among others.
During the mid-60’s and early 70’s, Royo added more dimensions to his skills creating theatre sets and doing graphic illustration and restoration work. He also participated in several competitions gaining major distinctions. In 1968 he began to exhibit in Spain, specifically prestigious galleries in Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona. With positive reception of his works in Madrid, Royo received commissions to paint the royal portraits of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.
At the age of twenty-five, Royo began feeling a growing desire to paint the land of his birth; to convey the light, the color and the intensity of Valencia and the Mediterranean. This meant a new focus and change of style in his work; he needed to perfect new ways to capture the light, the shadow and to work on classical composition styles. Through the 1980’s Royo perfected his style of painting the Mediterranean and exhibited abroad, notably in London, Brussels, Copenhagen and Paris and the International Geneva Art Fair.
Beginning in 1989 and continuing until today, we see the development of Royo’s matured style. His dramatic usage of color and texturing capture his subject matter with unique flair. Parallels can be drawn to the work of the European masters; for example, with Royo’s homage to the female form; we see the distinct influence of Renoir. It is the similar, almost portrait-like treatment of the female model, caught in a serene, contemplative moment, with the surrounding bursts of color from the floral landscapes where we see the Renoir in Royo’s work. In fact, critics have concluded, if the artwork of Renoir were blended with that of the ‘Valencian painters’ you would arrive at the canvases approaching the uniqueness of the impressive work of Royo.
Impressive parallels can also be drawn between Royo’s work and that of the Spanish master, Joaquin Sorolla. Both were born in Valencia, both were classically trained, both matured into styles of painting capturing the dramatic visual essence of their homeland Valencia and the Mediterranean Sea. It is the overwhelming influence of Sorolla blended with his own style that make Royo’s masterful treatment of the Mediterranean subjects both haunting and mysterious, yet full of raw power at the same time. Royo conveys not merely image, but mood and atmosphere as well. This is rare in today’s art world, hence the connoisseur is compelled to compare with the old masters and the appeal of Royo’s work for today’s collector becomes obvious. With pride we offer the artwork of today’s Spanish master painter, Royo, to our collectors.