He was initiated in his first steps towards becoming a painter by Manuel Cabral and Eduardo Cano de la Peña.
Gifted at drawing, in 1851 he entered the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Santa Isabel de Hungría (Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary) in Seville. In 1868 he studied the collections in the Museo del Prado (Prado Museum) in Madrid, especially those of Goya and Velázquez. In 1867 he travelled to Jerez de la Frontera to work as a restorer and designer of stained glass. In 1871 he moved to Rome, where he remained for four years, getting to know Mariano Fortuny, who greatly influenced his paintings.