Francisco de CIDÓN

Valencia 1871 - Zaragoza 1943


A renowned Spanish poster artist, illustrator and draughtsman, Francisco de Cidón Navarro studied at the Real Accademia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in his native Valencia before completing his artistic training in Barcelona, Paris, Rome and Vienna. Cidón won prizes at several national and regional competitions, and in 1898 won third prize in a competition organized by the Catalan cava producer Codorníu to develop its commercial imagery. Cidón became particularly known as a poster designer, creating highly refined images, and among his best-known early works in this genre is a poster for an exhibition of the work of the Spanish painter Eliseo Meiffen in 1902. The following year the artist went to Madrid, where he studied with Joaquín Sorolla. In 1906 he travelled to Paris and Biarritz, and between 1907 and 1924 lived in Tarragona, where he taught drawing at a secondary school and took part in several group exhibitions. He also produced a number of cover illustrations for the magazine Blanco y Negro. Cidón settled in Zaragoza in 1924, teaching drawing at the Instituto Goya and also publishing art criticism under the pseudonym ‘Zeuxis’. As well as designing covers for the magazine Aragón and La Gaceta Ilustrada, he continued to produce striking poster designs, such as those for the annual Fiestas del Pilar - the ten days of festivities celebrating the patron saint of Zaragoza - in 1926 and 1927. Cidón also designed distinctive posters for the Almacenes el Águila department store, and indeed is known in particular for his distinctive contribution to advertising in Spain, and as one of the country’s finest commercial poster artists. In 1940 he was admitted to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Luis in Zaragoza. Following the Spanish Civil War, Cidón produced a number of drawings of ruined Aragonese villages and towns, some of which were shown at the Casino Mercantil in Zaragoza in 1942, the year before his death. A posthumous exhibition of Cidón’s work was held at the Museo San Telmo in San Sebastián in October 1944.