BIOGRAPHY: Antonino Sanchez Gutierrez

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Antonino Sanchez-Gutierrez was born in Mancera de Abajo, Salamanca, in 1932, in a labourer’s family of ten siblings. Life was hard and Antonino had to help work the land from a very young age. But the young Antonino soon found out this life wasn’t for him. The maid at the house where he used to work was forever whitewashing the walls, but as soon as she had finished, the young boy would grab a piece of charcoal (he hadn’t discovered paint yet) and started drawing bulls and other images. It was clear the young boy had an artistic talent and was destined for greater things.

From 1948 to 1952 Sanchez followed a correspondence course in drawing at the Macko Institute in Barcelona. He followed that from 1952 to 1955 by studying topographic drawing at the Topographic Brigade in Madrid. During those years he also followed a general drawing course at the Arts and Crafts School in Madrid. From 1951 to 1958 Sanchez followed a free course at the engravers training school of the FNMT-RCM in Madrid.

Military service intervened but after having finished that, Sanchez joined the National Association of Painters and Sculptors in Madrid. To make ends meet he not only worked for the Association, drawing posters for exhibiting fellow artists, but, from 1956 to 1959, he also worked as a painter-decorator at the Biro cinema and theatre studios in Madrid.

Sanchez continued to make a name for himself, his paintings being awarded third price by the National Association of Painters and Sculptors in 1961 and second prize the year after. He would for ever regard it as his finest moments.

From 1962 to 1966 he was head of the advertising design department of the Milko studios in Madrid. During that time he also received training at the FNMT school. One of his hobbies had been to copy old banknotes so trying to get accepted to design and engrave new ones was a logical step for him.
In February 1966 he started working for the FNMT as an artistic engraver. He remained with them until his retirement in 1995.

His stamp work yielded a number of international recognitions. In 1992, he received international recognition for his engraving of the Casa del Cordon stamp, issued in Spain in 1989. In 1994, during the Salon de Timbres in Paris, he was awarded best prize for his pistol stamp, part of the 1990 ironwork set issued in Spain.

Sanchez not only engraved stamps, he also engraved banknotes. His first banknote engraving was the portrait of José Echegaray on the 1000 pesetas banknote from the 1974 issue. One of the more unusual notes is a trial note printed by Rasmussen, which purports to be an ‘Interpol’ banknote. It is illustrated in the ‘Diseñadores y Grabadores’ book issued by the Spanish Casa de la Moneda.

That same book also includes a number of beautiful engravings of various Spanish buildings and monuments, engraved in the late 1990s, which are baffling in rich detail. The scenes are all from his native Salamanca for which he held a high regard. Sanchez often proclaimed he was not ashamed of his humble background and stated that that was the environment in which his desire to draw would come to fruition. He would later donate his engravings to the City Council of the place he was born.

Antonino Sanchez Gutierrez passed away on 9 October 2017.

Book: Diseñadores y Grabadores, Museo Casa de la Moneda 2004.

Antonino Sanchez Gutierrez' database can be found HERE.