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Giulio V. Blanc

revised by Ingrid Eliott

(b Yaguajuay, nr. Placetas, Jan 5, 1896; d Havana, Apr 8, 1968).

Cuban painter, ceramicist, and illustrator. Peláez studied under Leopoldo Romañach (1862–1951) at the Academia de San Alejandro in Havana, where she became interested in Impressionism. She graduated in 1924 and lived in Paris from 1927 to 1933, studying at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and the Ecole du Louvre. She also studied composition and color, as well as manuscript illustration, with the Russian Constructivist and stage designer Alexandra Exter. While in Paris, Peláez held an individual exhibition at the Galerie Zak in Paris in 1933 and in 1934 returned to Cuba. During these years Peláez illustrated various literary manuscripts, including Léon-Paul Fargue’s Sept poèmes (1933; unpubd.), Luis Amado Blanco’s Poema desesperado (1937), and her uncle Julián del Casal’s La agonía de Petronio (1937, unpubd.). Peláez is celebrated in Cuba and in the world of Latin American art for the stylistically innovative still lifes set in Spanish colonial domestic interiors that she developed in Havana during the 1930s and 1940s. During the 1950s, Peláez was a pioneering ceramicist in Cuba (...