A painter of mythological subjects, genre scenes and landscapes, Lorenzo Valles was born in Madrid in 1830. He studied drawing at the School of San Fernando in Madrid alongside the painter Federico del Campo. From a modest family with little resources, he was aided by the Duke of Sesto, which gave him the chance to leave Spain around 1853 to pursue art studies in Rome. In Rome he joined  a large community of international artists , including painters such as Raphael Senet, Mario Fortuny and Martin Rico, all already famous, and whose works are popular internationally. He was admitted to the workshop of Johann Friedrich Overbeck where his work was appreciated and met with success. His scenes of historical or religious inspiration, inspired by literary sources, earned him awards and accolades. In particular, a huge canvas, dated 1866, representing "The Madness of Joan of Castile" (238 x 313cm), and which is now in the Prado Museum in Madrid,was a standout when first exhibited. He regularly participated in the National Exhibition of Fine Arts. In 1858, he received an Honorable Mention and in 1864 and 1866, second-class medal, and in 1879 a third class medal. His work is characterized by a strong draftsmanship and a bright palette. He also exhibited in Vienna in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876.