Adoration of the Magi

Adoration of the Magi

circa 1760
Artist
Marcos Zapata, circa 1710-1773
Work Locations: Cuzco, Peru
Cipriano Toledo y Gutiérrez, Peruvian
Work Locations: Cuzco, Peru
Active Years: 1762-1775
Country
Peru
Style/Tradition
Cuzco School Peruvian Colonial
Object
painting
Medium
Oil paint and gold on canvas
Accession Number
1969.347
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Barrows Freyer II for Frank Barrows Freyer Collection

Marcos Zapata and his workshop, Adoration of the Magi, about 1760. Oil paint and gold leaf on canvas; 74 × 49⅝ in. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Barrows Freyer II for Frank Barrows Freyer Collection at the Denver Art Museum, 1969.347.

Dimensions
height: 74 in, 187.9600 cm; width: 49.625 in, 126.0475 cm; frame height: 77.5 in, 196.8500 cm; frame width: 53.5 in, 135.8900 cm
Department
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Collection
Latin American Art
This object is currently on view

Marcos Zapata (1710-1773) was an Indigenous painter who was born and worked in Cuzco, Peru. Cipriano Toledo y Gutiérrez (active 1762-1775) was a mestizo (Spanish father, Indigenous mother) artist who was trained in Zapata's workshop with whom he collaborated. This oil on canvas Adoration of the Magi is attributed to these painters who worked from a European print source, as was common artistic practice, to paint the subject matter, composition, and Christian symbolism. Joseph at far left holds a stalk of lilies while Mary presents the baby Jesus to the three kings on the right.
     While at first glance this might look to be a European style religious painting there are some elements that make it uniquely Peruvian. The extraordinary use of gold stamping to create the pattern on the cloth is exclusive to Cuzco and the surrounding highland areas, including Bolivia. Also, the "camels" in the background look more like llamas or alpacas. Although Lima became the political capital of colonial Peru, Cuzco remained its artistic capital, as it had been in Inca times.
--Julie Wilson Frick & Donna Pierce, 2015

Known Provenance
Collected in Peru in the 1920s by Mrs. Maria Engracia Critcher Freyer [1888-1969] and Mr. Frank Barrows Freyer [1878-1947], Denver and Washington, DC; inherited 1969 by Mr. Frank Barrows Freyer II [1916-1981]; gifted 24 October 1969 by Mr. Frank Barrows Freyer II [1916-1981] and Mrs. Anne Evans Freyer Sweeney [1917-2012] to the Denver Art Museum. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.