Casa-Museu José Segrelles
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Estudiando en la Lonja, donde se licenció en Bellas Artes, entró a trabajar en la casa de fotografías Napoleón. Mientras retocaba fotografías,  empezó a trabajar como ilustrador para la editorial Granada y a los veintisiete años ilustraba ya para la casa Araluce junto con otros artistas  de prestigio. 
© Copyright: Casa-Museo José Segrelles . Museo Segrelles . privacidad . aviso legal . créditos . museosegrelles@museosegrelles.com
JOSE SEGRELLES ALBERT, (1885-1969).
la Manxa 
In Albaida (Valencia), a village still strikingly similar to those in the stories of 'The Arabian Nights', was born a boy at break of dawn on 18th March  1885. His start in life came in the midst of a deadly cholera epidemic. He was bright, skilled with a pencil, a painter with a fantastic imagination, and  a universal illustrator. At the age of nine, in view of his vocation shown in childhood, Segrelles moved to Valencia with his older brother Vicente, who  would look after and protect him while the boy took lessons as an external student at the School of Artisans, and daily, at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts, where he was a pupil of Isidoro Garnelo and Joaquin Sorolla. At the age of twelve, enveloped in the grief of his family, due to the death of  his older brother and with his studies at a standstill, he accepted the invitation of his uncle Antonio to go on studying, which is why he took up  residence in Barcelona.
While he was taking lessons in the Exchange, where he got a degree in fine arts, he started working in the Napoleon photography shop. As he was  touching up pictures he began to work as an illustrator for the Granada publishing house and at twenty-seven he was already illustrating for the  Araluce house, together with other prestigious artists.
  In 1918 Segrelles exhibited in Barcelona where personalities such as the Valencia-born novelist Vicente Blasco Ibañez were in attendance. He was  amazed by his distinguished work and requested to meet the artist. He commissioned him to illustrate four of his novels, namely, "La catedral" ('The  Cathedral'), "El intruso" ('The Intruder'), "Los muertos mandan" ('The dead rule') and "Flor de Mayo" ('May Flower'). Segrelles accepted and got down to work on this project, perfectly capturing the atmosphere that Blasco Ibañez depicted in his stories. In 1923 "Las florecillas de San Francisco" ('The  Little Flowers of Saint Francis') was published in Spain. In 1926 Segrelles was requested by The Illustrated London News magazine and he travelled  to Paris in 1927 in order to sign the contract. In that same year, he got published eleven works on Beethoven, a favourite musician among Wagner,  Chopin and Mozart of whose music he also painted several works. After signing with the English magazine, 'The Little Flowers of San Francisco' was  published in Italy, reaching the same success as in Spain, the whole edition being sold out. In 1929 Segrelles was awarded the Gold Medal in the  International Exhibition of Barcelona thanks to the illustrative interpretations of 'The Divine Comedy' by Dante.
In 1930 he illustrated 'The Arabian Nights' for Salvat Editores Publishing House, and nine of his ten works were published by The Illustrated London News and were tremendously successful both in Europe and the USA. In 1932, once his contract was finished with Salvat in Barcelona, he went on to market the book of the famous stories of 'Aladdin', 'Ali-Baba and the Forty Thieves', 'The Prince Diamond', 'Farizada' and 'Sinbad the Sailor', with a total of thirty-two illustrations all in colour. Also in 1932 four illustrations on 'Famous Dreams' were published in the English magazine
During his stay in North America Segrelles continued to enjoy his success and he relished his fame without stopping working. However, he often  missed his country and his studio in Albaida. In order to get rid of that melancholy he began to design and sketch rooms and corners which eventually  would become the designs for his Museum-House. 
In 1936 the Spanish Civil war broke out and the painter spent the three years of its duration in his village, experiencing all those instabilities brought  about by war. He continued working in the studio in his parents' house, painting some portraits and preparing topics for illustrations. In 1940 he  eventually moved to Albaida and, at last, he began to make his dreams come true. He built a large and bright studio, like a small Arab palace, as in  the drawings he had made in New York. There was a library for his people and a display room for recitals and conferences; and his fondest dream  was that he could be with his wife Rosita Tormo, a charming beautiful girl whom Segrelles had seen growing up. Unfortunately, twenty months after  the wedding, the delicate heart of this sweet woman, his best friend in life, stopped beating and she embarked on the eternal journey to the great  beyond, her house on earth still unfinished.
Segrelles concluded his religious commission for the archpriest church of Albaida, namely several oils of considerable size that decorate the  altarpiece. As a result of this monumental work, other cities apart from Valencia started to give commissions. His mystic art even reached the Vatican,  in Rome. 
In the fifties, possibly as an escape from the religious works, the painter moved on to a new phase in which he would use all his imagination and  technique to depict sidereal topics. He started making charcoal drawings of imaginary lunar craters, and in 1960 he eventually began to dream of  countless space topics, painting most of them in oils. Segrelles paid curious attention to the Apollo projects and he became interested in the launching programmes. Although he didn't like the idea much, he was sure that one day man would step on the moon. Many years before that, he dared to  illustrate 'Star Wars', inspired by the text of H G Wells. One of the most important paintings in this series is 'Martian Invasion of Earth', a significant  canvas included in his Museum-House collection. 
Besides being a painter, Segrelles was a deputy and professor of fine arts in the University of Valencia. Just after abandoning these positions he was  appointed permanent chamber painter of the Valencia County Council and for years he illustrated The Gold Book of this institution with more than  seventy originals.
In 1965 he was invited by TVE (the Spanish public television) for the programme 'This is your life', presented by Federico Rooster and broadcast from  Barcelona (Miramar Studies) to all over Spain.
Showing his great admiration for the works of Cervantes, Segrelles depicted the adventures of Don Quixote from the beginning of his career. From  1930, through a contract signed with the Gallach-Calpe publishing house, he kept giving them everything he painted on the Knight of the Doleful  Countenance but for different reasons they would not be published until 1966, when it would be the most important cultural event of the year. The press from Madrid met Segrelles again and they unanimously proclaimed him the best universal illustrator. Soon after Segrelles stated_ 'Don Quixote has  been the pinnacle of my artistic career'
On March 3rd 1969, at five o'clock in the afternoon, a red nebular cloud pointed to Albaida, the bells of the tower tolled in mourning. They were  announcing the final journey to the unknown on which Segrelles had set out, just a few seconds after watching on television how Apollo IX flew through  space. Eighty-three years of works and trips, prizes and successes, positions and heavy burdens, excitement and appointments had come to an end.
JOSE SEGRELLES ALBERT, (1885-1969).