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Arturo Cintrón García recounts his experience as a disciple of Puerto Rican painter Miguel Pou. He remembers going to Pou’s home studio in the small city of Ponce where Pou gave art classes in the early twentieth century. After discussing the role of Anita Valldejuli, Pou’s wife, he explains the specific style of Pou’s work. He mentions that Spanish critic Gaya Nuño once called Pou an “Impressionist realist” painter, and a supreme example of contemporary Puerto Rican painting. However, Cintrón García goes beyond that assessment, asserting that a more accurate term to describe Pou would be “a sui generis Impressionist.” Cintrón García emphasizes two essential features of Pou’s work: his use of the brushstroke in his approach to drawing and line, and his use of impasto in his application of color.


Miguel Pou (Ponce, Puerto Rico, 1880–San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1968) was one of the realist painters active in Puerto Rico in the first half of the twentieth century. Pou dedicated his life to painting works with regional themes, [including] rural and urban landscapes, portraits, and local figures. In 1910, he founded the Academia Pou where he had a number of disciples. Later, in order to continue his studies in art, he traveled to New York, where he enrolled at the Art Students League, and took classes with George Bridgman. In 1935, Pou returned to the United States, this time to take a class in outdoor painting given by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Even though Pou always attempted to keep abreast of the painting movements of his day, his work never underwent any dramatic change in style.  

Flavia Marichal Lugo
Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Reproduced with permission of Isabel Cintrón García, Harlingen, TX