Manuel García Montoya, author of this collection, was born in Madrid in 1938. His talent is noticeable in his own extensive production: more than a thousand paintings, sold across many continents. He studied at the San Fernando College of Fine Arts, alternating lectures with daily visits to the Prado Museum, where he made study copies of Velazquez, Ribera and Rembrandt, taking in the techniques that would mark his later development.
In the Sixties, he lived in Villa de Fuentidueña, Segovia, with his wife Sharon. There he painted a large number of portraits, still lifes and indoor scenes, reflecting a rural lifestyle that only remains in memory. Part of this production was presented at the Lesnick Gallery in New York in 1969. On Rembrandt’s Centennial, he travelled to the Netherlands and visited the museums there. He visited the city of Delft and became fascinated. On his return, he worked tirelessly in Segovia, painting and teaching. He held several exhibitions at Salón Cano in Madrid and other cities. In the Eighties he relocated with his family to New York, accepting commissions and organising exhibitions. For many years he alternated living on each side of the Atlantic.
Montoya’s paintings clearly show his great admiration for Johannes Vermeer. Attracted by the peace and light emanating from Vermeer’s paintings, he made a copy for his own pleasure and almost as a game. The feeling he experienced inspired him to continue painting other copies and, for many years, alternating these with his own production, amassing up to fourteen replicas of the Dutch master, which would carefully travel with him. They never left his side. He wished to complete the 25 paintings that he was most attracted to out of the 37 known works by Vermeer.
In 2000, tired and overwhelmed by his enterprise and a need to survive, he decided to abandon the project and to start selling his beloved copies one by one. He communicated this to his cousins, María Eugenia del Pino and Javier Rascón, who knew about the project and admired it. He offered them the possibility of purchasing some of them. They decided that such a surprising and incredible Collection by a Spanish painter coming to an end and becoming scattered would be an irreparable loss. So, they encouraged Montoya to finish it. To this end, they purchased and financed the entire Collection. Montoya’s dream came true in the following five years. The Montoya After Vermeer Collection was exhibited in October 2005 at Galería Atalante in Madrid.
Manuel García Montoya, died in New York on 15th April 2009.