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date: 27 February 2020

Ibarra, José delocked

(b San Miguel el Grande, now San Miguel de Allende, 1685; d Mexico City, Nov 21, 1756).
  • Cristina Cruz González

Extract

(b San Miguel el Grande, now San Miguel de Allende, 1685; d Mexico City, Nov 21, 1756).

Mexican painter of African ancestry, listed as Spanish in the 1753 Mexico City census. He apprenticed with Juan Correa in Mexico City and, after 1716, was a journeyman in the workshop of Juan Rodríguez Juárez until 1728. Known in his lifetime as the “Murillo of New Spain,” his drawing style, subject matter, and use of color is equally influenced by the work of Peter Paul Rubens. A leading painter in New Spain throughout the 1730s, he produced portraits for at least three viceroys and numerous works for female convents, monasteries, colleges, and cathedrals. One of his earliest signed paintings, The Divine Spouse (1728), shows the reclining figure of Christ in a verdant garden inhabited by words and symbols taken from an emblem tradition. Appropriate for a convent setting and now in the Museo Nacional del Virreinato in Tepotzotlán, the intriguing composition prompted subsequent artists Miguel Herrera, Miguel Cabrera, José de Páez, and Andrés López to create their own versions. In 1731–1732 Ibarra produced four paintings for the cathedral in Puebla, confirming his mastery as an artist and fueling his prestige throughout the viceroyalty. Located on the choir’s outer wall, all four compositions show the apotheosis of a holy figure or religious devotion flanked by canons posing as saints (a portrait type known as ...

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