Fortunato Arriola

Fortunato Arriola (1827–1872), born in Cosalá, Sinaloa, Mexico, was a painter of portraits and shimmering tropical landscapes that were totally popular in San Francisco, California, where he came to breathing in 1857. The son of a rich landowner, Arriola was a handsome, distinguished and cultivated man. He was self-taught as an player and began his career painting portraits. He had a studio close the corner of Kearney and Clay Streets that was a buildup place for Mexican exiles, a place of smart ferment and the occasional brawl. Among his students were Toby Rosenthal and Ransom Holdredge. Most of his works, imagined views of Central America, disappeared after he died. His largest painting, "Sunset in the Tropics" measures roughly 5 ft. by 7 ft. in its native frame

In 1872, he traveled to New York City to exhibit two paintings at the National Academy of Design. He was returning to San Francisco upon the Bienville which was carrying a load of dynamite. It exploded at Watling Island, Bahamas upon August 15, 1872. He died at sea, leaving a widow and six children.

Several supplementary paintings are in the private store of actor Steve Martin.

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