"Royo" Jose Mateau San Hilario, 1945 -
Born in Valencia, Spain, Royo began demonstrating artistic talent early. At the age of nine, his father employed private tutors to instruct Royo in drawing, painting and sculpture. When Royo was 14, he entered the San Carlos Royal Academy of Fine Arts. At the age of 18, Royo went on to continue his artistic studies privately with the Chairman of the Academy, Aldolfo Amblat.
During the mid-60's and early 70's, Royo added more dimension to his skills by creating theater sets and doing graphic illustration work. He also participated in several competitions, gaining major distinctions. In 1968, he began to exhibit in prestigious galleries in London, Madrid and Barcelona and received commissions to paint the royal portraits of the King and Queen. At the age or 25, Royo began feeling a growing desire to paint the land of his birth, conveying the light, color and intensity of the Mediterranean. This meant a new focus and change of style in his work. Beginning in 1989, we see the development of Royo's "matured style." His dramatic use of coloring and texturing capture his subject matter with unique flair. In a way rarely seen in today's art world, Royo's work conveys not merely image, but mood and atmosphere, as well.