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Sergio de Castro
b. 1922, Buenos Aires, Argentina
d. 2012, Paris, France

 

Sergio de Castro was a French-Argentinean artist and composer. Although he is best known for his monumental stained glass windows in churches across France and Switzerland, he is also esteemed for his geometric paintings that evade simple characterization. Born in Buenos Aires, de Castro spent his early childhood living in Switzerland and Italy. Around the age of ten, he was sent to Montevideo, Uruguay to gain a Jesuit education. There, de Castro studied music, and at the precocious age of seventeen several of his compositions were performed at the University of Montevideo. Around the same time, de Castro met the renowned Uruguayan painter, sculptor, and theorist Joaquín Torres García. This meeting proved pivotal in the life of young de Castro; while continuing his musical pursuits, de Castro also began painting under Torres García's guidance. A few years later, de Castro became an assistant to the influential Spanish composer Manuel de Falla, whom he worked for until de Falla's death in 1946. A few years later, thanks to a French governmental grant to fund his musical studies, de Castro moved to Paris, where he would live for the rest of his life. By 1953, however, de Castro had abandoned music altogether in favor of painting.

 

Throughout his career, de Castro received numerous accolades for his body of work: in 1960 he received the Hallmark Art Award; in 1980 he represented Argentina at the Venice Biennale; and in 1997 he was inducted as an Officer in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Sergio de Castro died on New Year's Eve in 2012, and was buried next to his dear friend Samuel Beckett in Paris's Montparnasse Cemetery.