My friend José María Falgas

On Sunday, the friends of José María Falgas Rigalt, painter, Honorary Gunner of the RAAA (Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment) No. 73, Favorite Son of the city of Murcia, portraitist of heads of State and colonels of my regiment, in addition to personalities of culture and business, and a painter of military events on land, sea and air, we learned the sad news of his death, a victim of Covid at the Reina Sofía Hospital.

Falgas was, above all, a great friend of his friends. Those of us who have had the great honor of enjoying his friendship, we remember his joy, his desire to live overcoming all difficulties due to his ailments. There was no act, event or meeting of friends, of any kind, to whom he did not say yes.

My relationship with him began when, as lieutenant colonel chief of the PLMM of the RAAA 73, I went to his study to commission him the portrait of my colonel, Jaime Domínguez Buj, who would later become JEME (Chief of Staff of the Army ). From that moment a true friendship began.

I was his contact with the artillery world, counting on the help of Colonel Ortega, who knew him before I did, since his father, when he was colonel director of the Powder Factory, had commissioned him the portraits of all the directors since 1802 , work that he carried out, with the corresponding investigation and that is in the current Javalí Viejo Factory.

The portraits of the colonels of RAAA 73 followed one another, when he suggested donating part of his collection plus others that he would paint for the exhibition. Donation that is in the Military Museum of Cartagena. Later he would make a second donation, which for legal reasons is located in the Tentegorra Barracks.

I do not want to end this story without telling an anecdote. During an exhibition in the Sala de Verónicas, I asked him: “José María, how do you choose the place in the painting where you are going to put your signature?” To which he replied: “This is where I would like to be.”

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Goodbye José María, your friends will never forget you!

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