Gregorio Prieto (Valdepeñas 1897–1992) never held a camera himself, but he explored the medium through his friends. He created a kind of imagined biography, having his photograph taken in a range of poses and designing narcissistic, sometimes disturbing scenes which revealed his deep admiration for Greek and Roman art.
A regular in the company of the great poets of the Generation of ‘27, the young Gregorio Prieto began his studies at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, before continuing his training in Paris, and later on a grant to study landscape painting at the Academia de España in Rome from 1928 to 1933. It was in Rome that he discovered his passion for photography thanks to his friendship with fellow grant-holder and amateur photographer Eduardo Chicharro Briones. Chicharro helped him with the technical aspects and together, the two created the innovative images that comprised his early photographic works.
When war broke out in Spain in the summer of 1936, Gregorio Prieto sought refuge in London. Little could he have imagined that his exile would last for over eleven years, until late 1947. During his time in England he met the Anglo-Spanish sculptor Fabio Barraclough, with whom he continued his photographic activity both in England and particularly after his return to Spain, in 1950s and thereafter.
The photographs taken in Rome and the later shots taken in the fifties and later were all composed by Gregorio Prieto.