Saint Joseph Holding the Christ Child
- Melchor Pérez Holguín, Bolivian, 1660-1732
- Born: Cochabamba
- Work Locations: Potosi, Bolivia
Melchor Pérez de Holguín, Saint Joseph Holding the Christ Child, about 1710. Oil paint and gold leaf on canvas; 22¾ × 17¾ in. Bequest of Robert J. Stroessner, 1992.67.
Melchor Perez Holguín was a mestizo (Spanish and Indigenous) painter born in Cochabamba, Bolivia around 1665. He was trained as an artist in the European Baroque style, particularly influenced by Murillo and Zurbarán, and spent his life painting in Potosí where he had a large workshop. He is widely considered as the most skilled and influential colonial artist of Bolivia. His paintings were exported throughout South America.
This image of St. Joseph holding the Christ child and white lilies was painted by Holguín using a European print source, however the Christ Child wears a woven belt in the Andean style, a distinctive local addition. The use of gold leaf patterning in the halo and lace trim is exclusive to Cuzco and the surrounding highland areas of Bolivia.
-- Julie Wilson Frick & Donna Pierce, 2015