Born in Chile, Santiago Arcos y Ugalde (sometimes Megalde) settled as a young child with his family in Argentina. Following the deaths of his mother and brother, he and his father moved to France in 1864, where the young Arcos became a pupil of the painters Léon Bonnat and Raimundo de Madrazo in Paris. He later studied in Madrid, where he is recorded as a copyist at the Prado in 1868, after which he completed his education in London and Florence.
When his father died in 1874, Arcos inherited a considerable fortune, which he used to buy a large house and studio in Paris, part of which he rented to Raimundo de Madrazo and his brother Ricardo. A gifted painter, watercolourist and illustrator, Arcos divided hi
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