Saint Joseph and the Christ Child
- unknown artist
Unknown artist, St. Joseph and the Christ Child, about 1700-1730. Oil paint and gold on canvas; 31¼ × 26½ in. Gift of Engracia Freyer Dougherty for the Frank Barrows Freyer Collection at the Denver Art Museum, 1969.354.
St. Joseph, often depicted with a stalk of lilies as seen here, lovingly holds the infant Jesus. The artist who created this painting would have worked from a European print source to develop the subject matter, overall composition and symbolism in the painting. 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 densely painted ring of flowers that surround the perimeter of the painting is often seen in paintings of Cuzco. 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
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