Oller: Hacienda la Fortuna

José Gallart, an enterprising émigré from Barcelona, commissioned the Puerto Rican Creole painter Francisco Oller to paint “portraits” of his five Puerto Rican ingenios, or sugar-mill complexes. At age thirteen Gallart followed in the footsteps of Spain’s early conquistadors, sailing to the Indies to seek his New World fortunes. In 1885 Gallart returned to Spain and displayed Hacienda La Fortuna in the study of his home outside Barcelona as a reminder of the source of his newfound American wealth. Gallart died in Spain in 1898, one day before the end of the Spanish-American War, which liberated Puerto Rico and Cuba from more than four hundred years of Spanish rule.