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.