The Manuel Benedito House Museum is dedicated to painter Manuel Benedito Vives, born in Valencia on 25 December 1875. Located on Calle Juan Bravo 4, it was founded in 1963, following his death. The museum is the mansion in which the painter had his studio.
A disciple of Joaquín Sorolla, he enrolled in the San Carlos School of Fine Arts in Valencia in 1888, where he studied under the tutelage of Salva y Vilá. In 1894 he entered Sorolla’s workshop, and in 1896 they travelled together to Madrid, where he produced the illustrations for the Revista Moderna and Blanco y Negro magazines. Retiring to the Spanish Academy of Fine Arts in Rome between 1900 and 1904, he travelled to France, Belgium and the Netherlands, setting up residence in Volendam in 1909. Of his individual exhibitions, those shown at Sala Amaré in 1907 and at the Blanco y Negro halls in 1910 are the most outstanding.
The genres cultivated by this artist were portrait, still life, local characters and landscapes. He died in Madrid in 1963 and the museum was founded in the capital with his work. Although his apprenticeship with Joaquín Sorolla may suggest otherwise, Benedito remained true to his sober, realist style with a predominantly dark colour palette, quite removed from the Luminism of Valencia. Some of his early work resembles the Black Spain of Ignacio Zuloaga and José Gutiérrez Solana, although he usually stuck to a mainstream aesthetic which was easier to sell. His paintings depict local scenes and life (costumbrista style), demonstrating a notable technical ability, though he avoided painting the harsher aspects. His great work “Return from the Hunt” was praised by Apollinaire. In his later life he concentrated on portrait painting: King Alfonso XIII and singer Concha Piquer both posed for him.