Eduardo Ospina S. J. (1891−1965) was an art critic whose importance in twentieth-century Colombian art circles is little known and less studied today. However, in the early twentieth century, his opinion had a real impact on the field of art in Colombia, if we recall his participation as a qualifying juror in the II Salón Nacional de Artistas and his work as director of the art pages section of the Revista Javeriana.
Regarding his background, Ospina began his higher studies in Oña, near Burgos (Spain), and concluded them at the German Jesuits’ philosophical/theological institute in Valkenburg aan de Geul (Netherlands). Between 1925 and 1927, Ospina obtained a degree in Philosophy in the city of Munich (Bavaria). This made him one of the few Colombian art scholars with academic training in Aesthetics who worked as professional art critics. This document is highly important in that it shows a meticulous analysis of the work based on rigorous research that integrated aspects of various disciplines. Among Ospina’s studies, there is one iconographic study; a focus on iconography was an analytical technique very little used in early twentieth-century Colombia.
Beyond determining whether or not the work was executed by Dürer, it is very interesting to see a Colombian art scholar performing such meticulous research on the formal aspects of artworks; this level of detail was most unusual in the art field at the time when this critic was writing.