Roberto Matta was born in Santiago, Chile on November 11, 1911 (11.11.11), a current figure often used in his career.
He completed his undergraduate studies at the School of Architecture at the Universidad Católica de Chile. After graduating in architecture he traveled to Europe on a merchant ship. While his stay in Paris he worked in the studio of architect Le Corbusier, whom he met through Roberto Davila. In the old continent he also met the artists Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and André Breton.
Breton was the person who encouraged the Chilean artist, assessing his work and putting it in the circle of the leading members of the Surrealist movement in Paris. Matta produced illustrations and articles for the newspaper Minotaure surreal. During this period he befriended prominent European contemporary artists such as Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.
A turning point in the career of Matta in 1938 occurs when he shifted from drawing to oil painting, by which he is very famous. This period coincides with his travel and residence until, in the United States.
Matta’s work added new dimensions to contemporary painting, despite its breaking (for unknown reasons) with the surrealist movement in 1947.
During his career he received a lot of prices. He lived since the 1960s in the Italian village of Civitavecchia, making occasional trips to his country.
He died on November 23, 2002 in the Italian port of Civitavecchia, north of Rome. The painter was buried in Tarquinia, in a crypt located under the casa.