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Artists

Arguably one of the most famous, and influential, Spanish painters – alongside Goya, Dali and Picasso – Velazquez is best known for his unconventional royal portrait Las Meninas. Velazquez painted during the Siglo de Oro (Golden Century), the 17th century, when Spain was riding high on a wave of artistic creativity and religious verve, funded by massive wealth from trade with the new colonies in South America.

During the early 1980s, well-known American sculptor, Bayard Osborne, famed for his Bronze Nudes statues, lived briefly at the Villa La Loma, in Calle Ramos Puente in Torremolinos. Born in Manhattan in 1922, Osborne exhibited his work all over the world, and he could count King Juan Carlos I of Spain among his admirers.

One of the most notorious artists to reside in Torremolinos was Elmyr de Hory, a Hungarian-born painter and art forger that lived in the town during the late 1960s. Elmyr de Hory is said to have sold over one thousand forgeries to reputable art galleries all over the world: in 1946, he sold a pen and ink drawing to a British woman who mistook it for an original work by Picasso.

Surrealist genius Salvador Dali and his eternal muse, Gala, were among other notable guests to stay at the hotel. Dali stayed for several weeks during the early 1930s while working on his El Hombre Invisible. Gala raised the eyebrows of the local Roman Catholics by bathing topless on the beaches of Bajondillo.

John Spencer-Churchill, Nephew of Sir Winston Churchill was an English painter who once lived in the Molino de Rosario, situated next to the church in Plaza San Miguel. Born in London in 1909, the budding artiste headed to Spain during his early adulthood, where, in 1934, he married a Spanish artist called Angela Culme Seymour.

Horacio Lengo Martinez, an eccentric and rather unstable painter who eventually committed suicide, was born in the Plaza de San Miguel in Torremolinos in 1838. He was the father of Clara Lengo - an artist who gained considerably fame in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - and uncle of famed cartoonists, Tomás and Francisco Sancha Lengo.

The artist has a roundabout (Glorieta Jorge Campbell) named after him in Malaga, on AvenidaCerrado Calderon, at the junction with Calle Flamenco and CalleAndaluz. Campbell was born in Arklow, County Wicklow in 1917. He went to school in Dublin, and then moved to Belfast, where met his wife Margaret, known as Madge.

Immortalised in street names from Almería to Vélez-Málaga and throughout the Spanish Kingdom , Francisco de Goya is cemented in the lineage of world art icons. CHRIS DOVE pays tribute to the painter whose work has unearthed a surprising new secret in an Andalucían pueblo, and who's interacting today with new audiences in cyberspace.

Many people believe that the character of your native land of Andalucía – Córdoba in the case of Víctor, and Sevilla for José Luis – is always reflected in your work. Do you believe this to be so, that these roots are always present in each and every one of your creations?

Pedro Roldán was the leading Andalusian sculptor of the late 17th century. Some of his work in wood was painted by Valdés Leal and like the latter Roldán's best work in in the Hospital de la Caridad in Seville. Several of his children and grandchildren were sculptors also, including his daughter Maria Luisa Roldán or La Roldana as she was known who created the powerful image of the La Macarena Virgin.

Pablo Picasso Picasso was born in 1881 in a house (now a "Casa Natal museum) in Plaza de la Merced in Málaga, the first child of Don José Ruiz y Blasco (1838-1913) and María Picasso y López. He was baptised Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso in the Santiago Apostal parish church.

Pablo de Rojas moved to Granada in 1579, attracted by the city's rich art and cultural heritage. He studied with Rodrigo Moreno and established his workshop in an area where many artists were working for churches and convents surrounding the Alhambra.

Seville's Juan Martínez Montañes was better known in his day as "El Dios de la Madera" (the God of Wood). He produced many magnificent and lifelike sculptures and reliefs in polychromed wood. Montañes' depictions of the infant Christ, the crucifixion, the Immaculate Conception and his ornate carvings.

Francisco de Zurbarán was born in Extremadura but settled in Seville in 1629 where he had a very successful career accepting large commissions for the wealthy religious order. He was in Madrid from 1634 - 6 in the service of King Philip IV and on his return to Seville he began painting commissions for Spanish American clients.

Málaga born Diego Santos lives in the heart of his native city's centre in one of it's most emblematic buildings - the birth place of Pablo Picasso. That's right. He lives right there overlooking the charming Plaza de la Merced where Spain's pride and joy spent his first years.