From a very early age, Ramón Arcaya (Pamplona, 1895-1943) showed his artistic calling, enrolling in the School of Arts and Crafts in 1907, where he commenced his training under the guidance of the carver Fermín Istúriz. A scholarship awarded by the Provincial Government and, later on, by the City Council of Pamplona, enabled him to further his studies and to deepen his knowledge of sculptural techniques. He first moved to Madrid, enrolling at the School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving of the Academy of San Fernando, where, from 1918 onwards, he attended classes given by the Gerona-born sculpture, Miquel Blay, who highly praised this your artist from Navarra, and by Madrid-born Miguel Ángel Trilles. He subsequently travelled to Paris, where he was a disciple of Antoine Bourdelle, an artist influenced by classical realism and by Rodinian expressionism. In the nineteen-twenties he completed his training by travelling through Spain, France and Italy, letting himself be captivated by the Renaissance sculpture of artists such as Donatello and Michelangelo, although his work was also influenced by Ameunier, Julio Antonio and José Capuz, and even by the illustrator Gustave Doré. After opening a workshop in Pamplona, he alternated his sculptural work with industrial decoration.The majority of his works are dated prior to the Civil War, particularly working in the field of monumental sculpture, leading him to collaborate with Víctor Eusa in the buildings designed by this Pamplona-born architect in the Segundo Ensanche neighbourhood . He also created the float for the Entry of Jesus in Jerusalem, commissioned in 1924 by the Brotherhood of the Passion and Brotherhood of Farmers of Pamplona, with hints of Doré and the Pre-Raphaelite movement. In 1932 he obtained the teaching position of Modelling, casting and carving at the School of Arts and Crafts of Pamplona, substituting his former teacher Fermín Istúriz. He held this position until 1938 when a mental illness forced him to resign.
Sources of information:
Municipal Archive of Pamplona. «El Monumento a los muertos», Diario de Navarra, 2 de septiembre de 1922. «La inauguración del Monumento a San Francisco», Diario de Navarra, 20 de septiembre de 1927. «Bendición y entrega del monumento a San Francisco de Asís», Diario de Navarra, 27 de septiembre de 1927. IRIBARREN, M., «Ramón Arcaya, un escultor malogrado», Pregón, Septiembre-Octubre 1945. MURUZÁBAL DEL SOLAR, J. M., «El escultor Ramón Arcaya», Pregón Siglo XXI, nº 21, 2003.