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    Uribe Ángel, Manuel, 1822-1904
    Datos biográficos sobre Francisco Antonio Cano / por Manuel Uribe Ángel
    El Espectador (Medellín, Colombia). -- May. 12, 1899
    p. 1580- [1581]
    Newspaper article – Essays
    Uribel Ángel, Manuel. “Datos biográficos sobre Francisco Antonio Cano.” El Espectador (Medellín, Colombia), May 12, 1899, 1580- 1581.


This biographical overview—the first one ever published in Antioquia on an artist from the region—begins by describing Colombian artist Francisco Antonio Cano’s humble background and difficult childhood. From a young age, Cano took an interest in handicrafts. According to the author, “the adversity [that] has poured down on Cano endlessly” ultimately served to rid his character of impurity. The author describes Cano’s arrival in Medellín in 1885, before he had begun working as a painter, and the advice he received from Horacio Rodríguez. The text explains that although Cano had received only a very basic education, he did know how to do wood engravings. It also discusses Cano’s abundant production, including works like Cristo del Perdón [The Forgiving Christ]. In the view of Uribe Ángel, there is no reason why Cano will not become “the Michelangelo of Colombia.” In closing, the article asks Providence to “lead our absent friend down the righteous path for the glory of the Republic and the honor and benefit of his name.”


A medical doctor who earned his degree in Paris as well as a geographer, Manuel Uribe Ángel (1822–1904) held a number of public offices. He also wrote essays, and scientific and literary works. Considered one of the most important intellectuals from the Antioquia region in the nineteenth century, it is significant that he undertook the unprecedented task of recording information about the early life of Colombian artist Francisco Antonio Cano (1865–1935), who was only thirty-four when this brief biographical overview was published. The very existence of this text is indicative of Cano’s talent, as well as the expectations that he inspired in his countrymen. It is due to it that there are biographical details about Cano that would otherwise have been lost. 


Artist Francisco Antonio Cano came to Medellín, the capital of Antioquia, from his hometown of Yarumal in around 1885. In 1899, he traveled to Europe, where he studied and visited museums. He returned to Colombia in 1901 and began work on a project to establish an art academy in Medellín, an effort that would not bear fruit until a decade later.

Santiago Londoño Vélez
Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Courtesy of Comunican S.A - El Espectador, Bogotá, Colombia