Early in the morning of Friday, March 15, 2013, Sebastian Capella, world renowned Spanish impressionist painter and highly acclaimed portrait artist, passed away at Scripps Memorial in La Jolla while surrounded by family and close friends. A resident of La Jolla for over 40 years, Mr. Capella has been called a modern 17th century master and is considered one of most distinguished and talented portrait painters of the last century.
Born and raised in Sagunto, a historic town in the Province of Valencia, Spain, Mr. Capella received extensive academic training in the School of Fine Arts of Valencia, being awarded the title of Professor of Fine Arts in 1955. After further studies in Spain and at the Paris School of Fine Arts, Mr. Capella relocated his family to the United States in 1966 when offered the opportunity to teach Fine Arts at the University of San Diego, which he did until 1973. In the early 1970's, he began holding classes at his private studio in La Jolla, and continued to do so for over 40 years, building a loyal following of students while continuing to paint still lifes, landscapes and portraits daily. He also traveled back to Spain each year, spending the spring or summer painting in his Spanish studio in Valencia.
Heavily influenced by Velasquez, Sargent and Van Gogh, his work is most often compared to another brilliant impressionist Spanish master, Joaquin Sorolla. Mr. Capella is known widely for his portraits, including the King and Queen of Spain and other members of the Spanish Royal Family, as well as local and international dignitaries, celebrities, families, and individuals. His work has been shown in exhibitions around the world, where he received dozens of awards and commendations, including being awarded First Prize at the National Portrait Seminar in Washington, DC, in 1983, being given the title of Master Painter by the San Diego Portrait Society, and being named to the Royal Fine Arts Academy of San Carlos in Valencia, one of the highest commendations given by Spain.
Mr. Capella is survived by his wife, Margarita; sister, Rosa; three daughters, Rosa, Margarita and Thais; two sons, Sebastian and Rick; and eight grandchildren, Toni, Thais, Cayetano, Shea, Julia, Kristen, Sofia and Sebastian. His family resides in California and Spain.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 22, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. in The Immaculata Catholic Church at the University of San Diego.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (www.nationalmssociety.org