At the age of thirteen he was enrolled in a British school in Gibraltar where, in addition to learning English, he received life drawing classes. In 1918 he entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (San Fernando School of Fine Arts) in Madrid, where Cecilio Pla, Miguel Blay and Romero de Torres were among his teachers. In the School’s library he first came into contact with impressionist art and the works of Cézanne and Picasso. He frequented the Student Residence where he came to know Lorca, Buñuel, Pepín Bello and José Bergamín.
In 1923 he moved to Paris where he would reside until his death. He took classes at the Ranson, Colarossi and la Grande Chaumière academies. The following year he took part in the exhibition at Salon d’Automne; it was his first exhibition in the French capital and the start of his connection with Picasso. This was followed by displays in affiliate galleries in which he exhibited until 1930. In 1925 he took part in the Exposición de Artistas Ibéricos, on which occasion he received a glowing review from Juan Ramón Jiménez, who pointed out a personal accent on a work he classed as “Picassian”.
In 1926 he took part in the performance in Amsterdam of El retablo de Maese Pedro, by Manuel de Falla, with Buñuel providing the stage direction. He also contributed to the sets of the film Carmen with Jacques Feyder. He illustrated La flor de Californía (1928), by José María Hinojosa, and worked on illustrations featured in La Gaceta Literaria, Gallo and Litoral. In his work, with its roots in Cezannian cubism, drawing would always play a decisive role.
During the Civil War, he worked at the State Tourist Board in Paris. After the conflict, he took on advertising work and illustrations for French periodicals. In 1943, he was part of the collective Un groupe d’artistes de l’École de Paris, his first exhibition after having temporarily abandoned painting in 1930. After the Second World War, he exhibited regularly at the Salon d’Automne and had his first solo exhibition at Galerie Roux-Hentschel in Paris. From then on his work was shown as part of various collectives exhibiting in Paris, London, Prague, Belgrade, Lima, Stockholm and Oslo, and other cities.
After an absence of thirty-six years, he returned to Spain in 1969 to exhibit, with resounding success, in the Madrid showrooms of the Dirección General de Bellas Artes (General Directorate of Fine Arts). Thus began the stage of freedom and economic and creative independence of his later years. Galería Theo in Madrid took part in the exhibition Artistas españoles de la Escuela de París (Spanish Artists of the Paris School), the first in which this school was appraised.