Emilio Moncayo


Emilio Moncayo was born in Quito, Ecuador, in 1895 to Abelardo Moncayo (Minister of Haciendas and Assessor to then-President Eloy Alfaro) and Margarita Moncayo.

From a very young age, he was interested in art. Fed by his sense of aesthetics and love of nature, he caught unsuspecting Andean landscapes, painting the color and majesty in the different volcanoes and Andean pampas that reflected the indigenous culture. He never skimped in his effort to capture the beauty of his birth country. He painted so well, that in 1930 a stringent panel of judges presented him with the First Prize "Mariano Aguilera" award.

Not wishing to set aside painting portraits, which were one of his great passions, he set himself to work on painting the magistrates. His great work entitled "Muerte de Simon Bolivar" (Death of Simon Bolivar) merited him the First Prize "Cruz de Boyaca" award: The highest reward offered in Venezuela. This award is now kept in the Sociedad Bolivariana of Ecuador. His portrait of President Dr. Camilo Ponce Enriques is now found in the Galeria de Presidentes, Salon Amarillo, Palacio de Gobierno (Gallery of the Presidents, Yellow Salon, Palace of the Governor) in Quito, along with several paintings of Eloy Alfaro.

Many foreigners visited the studio of Emilio Moncayo, which is also where he, with patience and love, taught his children to paint. He would often take his children to accompany him on trips to the different towns and villages in Ecuador where he would take photos of different places - some places his children considered rather odd, but they understood it was all a part of his work. He would also purchase picture post cards and would then combine them together with his photograph to compose a painting.

The sons who inherited his art skills are named Italia Moncayo (deceased in 1996) who painted landscapes and out-of-the-way places. He did not sell his paintings commercially. Not much is heard of Antonio Moncayo, who lives in Colombia. Those who still hold the Moncayo name are Emilia, Miguel Angel, Emilio, and Jose, and Margarita. Emilio and Miguel Angel have inherited the artistic skills of their father and paint very beautifully.

A group of Emilio Moncayo's works can be found in the Museo Aurelio Espinosa Polit and in various other museums and private collections around the world. Reference to him and his works can be found in various books, including:

Enciclopedia del Arte Frances, 65 Anos de la Plastica Ecuatoriana, the magazine La Revista, 15 Dias, (Feb. ‘99), Enciclopedia de Arte Ecuatoriano, etc.

Emilio died at the age of 75, leaving his art as his children's inheritance.

Click Here to visit Emilio Moncayo's website.