Recognized for his unique style that blends passion for French Impressionism with the bold color and warm light of Mediterranean painting, Royo began demonstrating his artistic talent early. Born in 1945 in Valencia, Spain, Jose Mateu San Hilario, "Royo," received private drawing, painting, and sculpture lessons beginning at age 9. Embracing his compelling artistic desire, Royo continued his artistic studies and visited the major museums in Europe to study the famous masters Velasquez, Goya, Renoir, Monet, and Sorolla among others. In 1968 Royo began to exhibit in Spain, specifically prestigious galleries in Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona. With positive reception of his works, he received commissions to paint the royal portraits of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. At the age of 25, Royo began feeling a growing desire to paint the land of his birth; to convey the light, the color, and the intensity of Valencia and the Mediterranean. This meant a new focus and change of style in his work; he needed to perfect new ways to capture light and shadow, and to work on classical composition. From 1989 through the present, we see Royo's distinct, mature style. His dramatic use of color and texture to capture his subject matter with unique flair. Today he is best known for his sensual portraits of women that combine an intimate, contemplative, moment with the powerful energy of explosive color and swirling movement. It is the juxtaposition of the two that set Royo's work apart from any other artist today.