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Juan Conchillos Falco
Painter, b. at Valencia of an ancient noble family in 1641; d. 14 May, 1711. He was a pupil of Esteban March, the eminent but eccentric Valencian painter, and was one of the first Spanish artists to start and maintain a school of design, gathering about him various youthful artists and insisting upon their working in charcoal in order to obtain freedom of draughtmanship. He was a brilliant sketcher and in his journeys through his native country made some clever and humorous pencil drawings of scenes which took place on the road. Falco is almost the only Spanish artist of whom it can be said that he had a keen sense of humour, but he is further described by his contemporaries as "the most amiable of men, humble, modest, a model of virtue, and altogether of the stuff whereof angels are made". Two of his most important works were those executed for the church of San Salvador in Valencia; others are the "Immaculate Conception", painted for the Franciscans in the same city, the frescoes in the church of San Juan, and the two altar-pieces of the Cistercian monastery of Valdigna. The close of his life was full of sadness. He was suddenly struck with palsy and became a confirmed cripple. Soon after that he lost his sight and died completely blind.
GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON