Isabel Guerra

Biography of Isabel Guerra, Spanish Cistercian painter and nun. Her painting technique is inspired by Velázquez and is of perfect hyper-realism.

Click here if you want to see this biography in Spanish translation

Childhood and family of Isabel Guerra

Isabel Guerra was born on April 30, 1947, in Madrid, into a cultured and wealthy family.

She was an only child and she entertained herself by painting, a hobby she developed on her own without attending painting classes.

Isabel Guerra was a good student at school. But, her great hobby was painting. She spent hours and hours reading art books. In addition, she liked to attend painting exhibitions and carefully visit the art rooms of Madrid.

Museum Prado
The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the most important in the world. Credit: web museodelprado.es

All this prepared her to make the most of the many hours she devoted to studying the great masters at the Prado Museum.

When she was 15 years old, the pictures she painted were already so wonderful that her family and those close to her encouraged her to exhibit them in the Toisón room in Madrid.

Since then, Isabel Guerra has participated in many competitions where she won numerous awards.

A few years later, she painted a self-portrait in which her sharp, clean and direct gaze can be appreciated.

Isabel Guera young
Self-portrait of Isabel Guerra, 1967. Oil on canvas. Credit: Blog “er mundo de Manué”.

Isabel Guerra entered a convent

Isabel Guerra also had another devotion, in addition to painting: it was being a nun. She felt the need to follow Christ to find in him the fullness of her happiness.

Thinking of giving her existence to Jesus and, at the same time working to develop the gift she had, she found out that the religious order of the Cistercians fulfilled these two objectives. “Pray and work

Among the works carried out in the “Monastery of Santa Lucía“, the most predominant were: binding, restoration and painting.

Cistercian sisters
Isabel Guerra and her Cistercian sisters. Credit: Zaragoza blog

At the age of 23, in 1970, she entered the Cistercian convent of the “Monastery of Santa Lucía” in Zaragoza as a novice.

The works that Isabel Guerra has carried out in this monastery, exalt her and the convent where she has decided to live and perform.

Isabel Guerra
Isabel Guerra was fully incorporated into the monastery. Credit: Zaragoza blog

During her life, Isabel Guerra has fully complied with the Benedictine motto of “ora et labora”, “pray and work”.

The works of the painter Isabel Guerra

In her paintings, of Velazquez technique and perfect hyperrealism, a lyric appears close to Christian mystical theology.

For the themes of her paintings, she has chosen above all everyday moments in the work of humble women or girls, giving special importance to light.

Painting Isabel Guerra
A girl playing with a pitcher. Credit: Uploaded to YouTube by Isabel Jiménez on January 25, 2012

Her themes evoke biblical passages from sacred history. She also cultivates portraiture and still life.

Painting Isabel Guerra
Isabel Guerra captivates with beautiful female faces. Credit: the magnificent and complete “Manué’s er blog”

Since 1960, Isabel Guerra began to make her painting known. The pictures painted by Isabel Guerra are highly valued and have been seen in numerous individual and group exhibitions.

Light is the most striking thing in the pictures painted by Isabel Guerra. With the relevance of the light, she transmits a message of “peace and serenity“.

The city of Zaragoza organized, in 2000, a retrospective of Isabel Guerra’s work. More than 120,000 people were able to admire 78 oil paintings and drawings by this great Cistercian nun who was already 53 years old.

Sister Isabel Guerra did not abandon her artistic vocation. She continued to regularly paint and exhibit individually, represented by the Sokoa Gallery in Madrid.

Her works include oil, mixed media, drawing, graphic work, and photography.

In 2005, she published a book entitled “The book of inner peace. Paintings and messages ”. In this work, which has been reprinted ten times, she comments on 48 of her paintings.

Isabel Guerra’s work is exhibited in museums, temples, cathedrals and important collections of art galleries.

Isabel Guerra
Isabel Guerra in 2015, in Zaragoza. Credit: “eldiario.es” website

Official acknowledgments to Isabel Guerra

Isabel Guerra was named an Honorary Member of the “Royal Academy of Nobles and Fine Arts of San Luis“, whose headquarters is the Museum of Zaragoza.

She was also honored with the title of Corresponding Member of the “Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Historical Sciences of Toledo”.

Click here if you want to see this biography in Spanish translation

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