Journal Information
Vol. 112. Issue 10.
Pages 966-967 (November - December 2021)
Vol. 112. Issue 10.
Pages 966-967 (November - December 2021)
Letter to the Editor
Open Access
Valentin Barrecheguren (1853–1893) — Painter of the Granada Illustrations in Olavide’s Atlas of Clinical Images of the Skin and Skin Diseases
Valentin Barrecheguren (1853-1893), autor de las láminas granadinas del Atlas de Olavide
Salvio Serrano Ortega
Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
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To the Editor:

José Eugenio de Olavide (1836–1901) published his Atlas of Clinical Images of the Skin and Skin Diseases1 in fascicles that were then grouped into 2 volumes. The first covered general dermatology, as its volume title indicated, and appeared in 1871. The second appeared in 1873, bringing together 165 illustrations of patients placed alongside their case histories and treatment plans. Most of the images showed patients treated in Hospital de San Juan de Dios in Madrid and were done by José Acevedo. However, Section 6 on leprous diseases contains 7 illustrations of lesions in patients treated by Dr Benito Hernando y Espinosa, then full professor of dermatology at the Universidad de Granada. The paintings were not done by Acevedo, “but rather by another painter, Barrecheguren, about whom we have no information,” according to del Rio et al.2 in an article in Actas Dermosifiliográficas. Barrecheguren’s paintings were done in water color. Acevedo used them as the basis for lithographs produced in the printing establishment of J. M. Matéu at number 4, Calle de Recoletos, in Madrid. To facilitate future studies of Olavide’s Atlas, we provide information about Dr Barrecheguren in this letter.

The full name of the painter of the 7 water color illustrations in section 6 of the Atlas was Valentin Barrecheguren Santaló (Fig. 1). Born in Granada on December 19, 1853 (d. 1893), Barrecheguren began his medical studies at the University of Granada in 1875 and graduated in 1878.3 While studying, he worked with Dr Hernando,4 executing his illustrations of leprosy “at the bedside” of patients in Hospital de San Lázaro.5 Barrecheguren and Hernando became close friends.

Figure 1.

Portrait of Valentin Barrecheguren by José Ruiz de Almodovar. Archive of the museum dedicated to Ruiz de Almodovar in Órgiva, Granada, Spain.


Barrecheguren’s training as a painter had begun in Granada under Don Eduardo García Guerra (1827–1880?), a disciple of Federico de Madrazo. Later, in 1870, he studied water color technique with Mariano Fortuny (1838–1874).6 His medical training completed, Barrecheguren continued studying art in Paris and Rome, where he met Francisco Pradilla (1848–1921).6 Pradilla’s Queen Joan the Mad (Doña Juana la Loca) had taken prizes at the Spanish National Exhibition of Fine Arts and at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1878. Those recognitions led the Spanish Senate to commission a painting depicting the taking of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs (The Capitulation of Granada). To work on that commission, Pradilla and Barrecheguren went to Granada in 1880,6 where they worked together to gather material to fill a canvas measuring 3.50 by 5.42 m. Among the figures Pradilla placed in the scene is Professor Hernando, in the role of the Sultan Boabdil.5 Works by Barrecheguren that can be found in the Museum of Fine Arts in Granada are the Palace of the Counts of Castillejo, Abandoned Woman, House on the Cuesta de Alhacaba, Defeat of the Moors, Uprising in the Albaicín, A Raffle for the Benefit of Souls, The Silk House, The Arch of Spoons, and drawings depicting allegories of war in Granada.7

Barrecheguren practiced medicine in the city and province of Granada and received the Cross for Charitable Works (Cruz de la Beneficencia) in 1885 for his work during the cholera epidemic. He also received a commendation from King Carlos III (the Cruz de Carlos III). He served as head of Hospital de San Lázaro. These and other distinctions led the city of Granada to name after Barrecheguren the street where he had kept his studio.

J.E. Olavide.
Dermatología General y Clinica Iconográfica de las Enfermedades de la Piel o Dermatosis.
Imprenta de T. Fortanet, (1879),
E. Del Rio de la Torre, A. Garcia Pérez, J.E. de Olavide III.
Publicaciones y colaboraciones en revistas periódicas.
Actas Dermosifiliogr, 92 (2001), pp. 127-137
Archivo histórico de la Universidad de Granada (AHUG).
Expediente personal de Valentin Barrecheguren Santaló. Año.
B.H. Espinosa.
De la Lepra en Granada.
Imp. de la Libertad, (1881),
F. Serrano Ortega.
Don Benito Hernando y las láminas granadinas del Atlas de Olavide. In: Fonseca Capdevila E. I Seminario de Historia de la Dermatologia.
Fundación Profesor Novoa Santos, (2017), pp. 7-11
M. Gómez Moreno.
Barrecheguren pintor Boletín del Centro Artístico.
(1893), pp. 28
G. Ruiz de Almodovar.
Barrecheguren pintor Boletin del Centro Artístico de Granada. Número extraordinario dedicado a la memoria del socio fundador D Valentin Barrecheguren Santaló.
(1893), pp. 23-35

Please cite this article as: Ortega SS. Valentin Barrecheguren (1853-1893), autor de las láminas granadinas del Atlas de Olavide. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2021;112:966–967.

Copyright © 2021. AEDV
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas (English Edition)

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