Art in Costa Rica

Costa Rican art is still under development, but currently already has important artists and museums.
Costa Rican art is considered to be somewhat underdeveloped. While some of Latin America’s foremost art movements were the product of social unrest and suffering, the predominant influence on Costa Rican art has long been European. Indigenous art in Costa Rica is far less prominent and Spanish style has shaped Costa Rican architecture, especially churches and historic buildings.

At the beginning of the 19th century, it was fashionable for wealthy Costa Ricans to have portraits painted by Europeans artists. When these European artists began to settle in Costa Rica, they taught the traditional techniques of drawing, sculpture, and oil painting and had a huge impact on the evolution of Costa Rican art.

The new generation of Costa Rican artists brought a refreshing and mature style, encouraging the development of the country's contemporary art scene. Painters such as Wenceslao de la Guardia, Teodorico Quirós, and Enrique Echandi helped to form the basis of modern Costa Rican art. Their art is a source of national pride and can be found in many of Costa Rica’s museums and art galleries.

Costa Rica’s art scene is still growing, with current renowned artists such as Gonzalo Morales Sáurez, Rafa Fernandez, and Fernando Carballo; and sculptors including Ibo Bonilla and Jorge Jimenez Deredia, both of whom are also well renowned Costa Rican architects, continuing to expand the Costa Rican art world.

More about Costa Rican art