Rafael Romero Barros was born in Moguer in 1838, but was brought up in Seville, where he learned to paint under the guidance of Eduardo Barrón. He was a great, and unfairly underrated, painter whose merits were easily sufficient to be at the top of the list not only of 19th century Andalusian artists, alongside Esquivel, Valeriano Bécquer and Cabral, but also of the Spanish artists of his day. His work was like his life itself: sincere and lyrical, with a serene transparency.
He arrived in Cordoba in 1862 as promoter and curator of the Provincial Museum.
From then until his death, his whole life’s work centred around the cultural life of his adopted home town: working to establish the Archaeological Museum, writing and researching into sculpture and modelling in Cordoba, taking part in the restoration work on the Mosque, or directing the School of Fine Arts where he taught such famous artists as Mateo Inurria, Muñoz Lucena, Rafael Hidalgo de Caciedes (the artist from Jaen) and his own sons, Rafael, Enrique and Julio.
He married Rosario de Torres Delgado and together they had six children, Rafael, Carlos, Eduardo, Enrique, Rosario, Julio and Angelita, all of whom took up painting or poetry.
He died in 1895.