Federico Armando Beltran-Masses was born in 1885 in Guaira de la Melena,
Cuba. His father was a Spanish military envoy to Cuba. After the war
between the United States and Cuba ended in 1899, the family returned
Beltran-Masses studied with the painter Sorolla at l’École
des Beaux-Arts de Barcelone. In 1905 he traveled to Madrid to study
the esteemed collection of Spanish and European art at the Prado. In
1916 he traveled to Paris to receive an honor from the Société
Nationale des Beaux-Arts, In the following years he made his home in
Beltran-Masses received awards in the United States, Belgium, Italy,
and India. In 1919 he took over the Exposition hispano-français
des Beaux-Arts. In 1920 he exhibited an exotic nude titled “Salome”
at the Venice Biennale, this painting is now in the Museo Casa Lis in
Salamanca, Spain. In 1924 he received the great honor of Cordon d’Isabelle
Beltran-Masses exhibited at the Wildenstein Galleries in New York and
Palm Beach, Florida in 1925. In the August 1925 issue of International
Studio Magazine Marguerite Tjader wrote an extensive article about the
The Musée des Offices de Florence bought several of his self-portraits.
In 1928 he was named by the French commissioner general of l’Exposition
International des Beaux-Arts to commemorate the centenary of Francisco
de Goya. Beltran-Masses was a member of l’Académie Royale
des Beaux-Arts de Madrid; Beltran-Masse received the Chevalier de la
Légion de Honneur. He was named Knight of the order of Malte.
Beltran-Masses exhibited at the Royal Watercolor Society in London in
1934 and at the Burlington Galleries in 1938.
Beltran-Masses began his career painting landscape and figurative compositions.
Later in his career he only painted portraits. He is best know for his
portraits of famous figures including the Duchesse de la Trémoille,
and the Princess of Denmark. . He was a good friend with Rudolf Valentino;
he painted two large portraits of Valentino that hung in his Hollywood
home. Valentino had another painting by Beltram-Masses of a famous Spanish
dancer that hung over his bed. These works were sold at auction in Los
Angeles shortly after his death. He also painted a large portrait of
The artist developed a unique style; evident in his work is the influence
of the Spanish masters but with a decidedly modern flavor. He painted
many large canvases often with bizarre and beautiful women; his work
can easily be identified by his use of shades of deep blue. Nighttime
gives his subjects an eerie contrast with star-studded skies, his favorite
tone became known as “Beltran Blue.”
Beltran-Masses died in 1949 in Barcelona, Spain. He is considered a
Spanish painter. His painting are held my several museums including
the Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris.