Spanish painter from the first half of the twentieth century, cultivator of the artistic avant-garde. He was thousgth to be involved in cubism, expressionism, surrealism and abstract art. However, he never stayed in any of the isms, he took from them what best suited his work and continued to investigate new paths. In the first half of the century, he met all the Granada artists and intellectuals who frequented the El Rinconcillo tertulia, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Francisco and Federico García Lorca, Manuel de Falla, Hermenegildo Lanz, among many others. He was a close friend of Emilia Llanos. He introduced her to Lorca. The correspondence between Ismael and Emilia was to last throughout his life; first he would write to her from Madrid and later, from Paris. It was Ismael González de la Serna who drew the cover of García Lorca’s first book, Impressions and Landscapes, in 1918.
In Paris, he was one of the painters of the Granada group who settled there. He became friends with Juan Gris, Soutine and Picasso, who was his great friend and protector.
Although he was born in Guadix, his childhood and adolescence were spent in Granada. He studied at the School of Arts and Trade in this city and later at the School of Fine Arts in San Fernando, in Madrid. In the Prado Museum he dedicated himself to copying the great works of El Greco and Zurbarán. But the exhibition that was to really impact him at 16 years of age was that of the Great French Impressionists at the Museum of Modern Art. He returned to Granada until 1921, when he moved to Paris, where he lived (with some trips to Spain) for the rest of his life. In Paris, he was one of the painters of the Granada group that settled there. He became friends with Juan Gris, Soutine or Picasso, who was his great friend and protector. Until 1927, he goes through periods of financial difficulties. At the end of the 30’s he lives a period of splendor. He participated in the Pedagogical Missions in 1932. In Spain his art was not recognized until 1932, when he exhibited it in Madrid, in the Iberian Society of Friends of Art.
In 1933, he married Susana, who had been the wife of Zervos (art critic, collector, art dealer and his protector). From that year on he retired to devote himself to the search for new artistic experiences.
After the Civil War, de la Serna continued his retirement and rarely appeared on the art scene. He died in Paris in 1968.