Carlos de Haes was a landscape painter from the Realist movement. He is often regarded as one of the three grand Spanish masters of landscape painting, alongside Aureliano de Beruete and Jenaro Perez Villaamil, the first of which was his own pupil.
Carlos Sebastian Pedro Hubert de Haes was born in June 1829. He was born in the city of Brussels, into a wealthy family of bankers. However, his family moved to Málaga, Spain when Haes was about six years old. There he studied art under Luis de la Cruz y Rios, a Neo-classical portrait painter.
Around his 20 years of age, Haes decided to return to Brussels in order to further develop his art skills by studying with the greatest Flemish landscape painters. There, he was mentored for five years by Joseph Quinaux, who was renowned by his landscape paintings. He influenced Haes in painting outdoors and his artistic style as a whole. In this period, Haes would also travel through the Netherlands, Germany, and France.
Upon his return to Spain, Haes was awarded third place at the Spanish National Exhibition of Fine Arts for a landscape created around the city of Brussels. In 1857, he was appointed as a landscape professor at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, in Madrid, becoming the first teacher in Spain to teach outdoors, painting directly from nature. Among his alumni were Aureliano de Beruete, Jaime Morera, and Darío de Regoyos.
In addition to teaching, Haes continued to paint, and in 1858, he would receive his first medal at the aforementioned National Exhibition. Two years later, Haes became an Academic at the Spanish Royal Academy and won a medal for his painting Junto A Torremolinos. In 1862, he received another medal with his Vista del Lozoya. In 1876, he presented the exquisite landscape The Peaks Of Europe - The Mancorbo Canal, and although it did not receive a medal, it was later acquired by the Spanish government to be part of the Museo del Prado’s art collection.
Since he painted in a Realist style, Haes nourished a rather Academic point of view towards art, believing that art should only aim at the faithful depiction of nature, which he considered the source of all beauty. He also believed the artist should not rely on his imagination and must know nature. Towards the end of his life, Haes adopted a looser and more direct painting style often associated with the Barbizon school of painting.
Carlos de Haes became ill in the year 1890 and would die eight years later in Madrid.