Emilio Sanchez was born in 1921 in Camaguey, Cuba. He left his native country in 1952 to settle in New York where he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. A prolific painter and printmaker, Sanchez received his formal education at the Art Students' League and Columbia University during the late 1930s, and had his first of many one-man shows in New York in 1949. Sanchez traveled throughout the world sketching his impressions of houses and other buildings and capturing the details of doorways, windows, light, and shadow in his paintings and prints. His paintings of residential architecture in Cuba and throughout the Caribbean are some of his best known works, but in the 1980s he turned much of his attention to the skyline of his adopted home, and was often drawn also to American cities and landscapes over the course of his career.
Sanchez's work is represented in major museums and private collections the world over, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Museum in Havana, and the Cintas Collection. He completed numerous commissions in both the United States and Mexico, has illustrated several books, including Arte del Peru Colonial by Felipe Cossío del Pomar (published in 1958 by the Fondo de Cultura Económica in Mexico), and has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in locations such as Mexico City, Paris, Havana, Madrid, Puerto Rico, Chile, Colombia, and throughout the United States.
Sanchez died in July, 1999 at the age of 78.