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Larrea Echániz, José

Bilbao, 1890-1976. An artist descended from a long-line of Biscay sculptors, the son of Vicente Larrea Aldama (1852-1922), the first sculptor in the family to open a workshop in Bilbao in Ribera street 14 and 15, also working as a modelling and ornamental drawing professor in the School of Arts and Crafts. He spent 9 years in Paris and introduced Maumejean stained glass, a company displaying in San Sebastian. His most important work is the sculpture of the monument to Samaniego in Laguardia (1883). His son, José Larrea, had a shining education in his father’s workshop and in Paris, in the Fine Arts School. He married the Navarre-born Pilar Gayarre Galbete, with whom he had a son, Vicente Larrea Galbete, also a sculptor. He worked in the family workshop for over fifty years, specialising in religious statuary, images of saints for churches, representations of the Crucifixion and the Virgin Mary, etc. His representation of the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús, is characteristic of his work. He is, therefore, an authentic 20th century benchmark maker of religious images. For over half a century, José Larrea produced many public and religious sculptures, which can still be seen in Biscay and in other neighbouring regions. In Navarre he created the Sagrado Corazón de Sangüesa, the image of San Ignacio de Loyola in the Jesuitas of Pamplona School and the image of Pio XII in a private garden in Aranzadi, as well as other works inside churches, such as in the María Inmaculada de los Jesuitas church in Pamplona. He produced numerous public sculptures for locations across Spain. Examples of his works are the Sagrado Corazón de San Sebastián de la Gomera (1962), the Cristo de la Fe (1938) from the Nazareno Guild of Algeciras, the San Juan (1944) from the Vera Cruz Guild of Bilbao, the Monumento a Remigio Vilariño in Bilbao (c. 1955), the image of San Ignacio, in the parish of San Ignacio de Portugalete (1945-50), etc.

JMMS