At the age of only thirteen, Spanish painter Emilio Sanchez-Perrier entered into his formal art education. He would begin training at the School of Fine Arts in Seville, and then in Madrid. It was during his studies at this time that Sanchez-Perrier learned the art of lithography, and the sharp attention to detail that it required. This work would figure in his later paintings that were photorealistic in appearance.
At sixteen years old he was studying under Martin Rico. By 1879 however he had relocated to Paris where he was studying under some of the key painters of the Barbizon school, including Jean Leon Gerome. During this period Sanchez-Perrier would, like his mentors, paint images and scenes from the Fontainebleau Forest.
While studying in Paris he began exhibiting in the Salons as well as across the Channel at the Royal Academy of London, and began to earn a solid reputation for the quality of his work.
With the advent of photography, Sanchez-Perrier began to seek the same level of accuracy as that captured by the instrument, but still to maintain some elements of post-Impressionism that had entered into his work.
American collector George A. Lucas would purchase his work and create further attention and demand for Sanchez-Perrier's paintings. He would continue to win awards throughout the 1880s and 90s, and to sell to some of the most famous people in the world. For example, the Duke of Montpensier purchased a work in 1878 and his 1889 submission to the World's Fair received the Silver Medal.
After 1889 Sanchez-Perrier would divide his time between the countryside of Pontoise and his studio in Paris. He continued to focus on landscapes full of sky and water, and was always working to reconcile his preferred realism and a freer painting style more characteristic of the French post-Impressionists. He is known equally well for his paintings of Venice, depicting both grand and intimate scenes of the city and its waters.
He was named a member of the Academie des Beaux Arts in Seville as well as a member of the National Academy of France. Sanchez-Perrier was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1896 and died from the disease only a few years later.