Portrait of Simon de la Valle

Portrait of Simon de la Valle

circa 1760
Artist
Anonymous
Country
Peru
painting
Oil paint on canvas.
Funds from Jan & Frederick R. Mayer, Carl & Marilynn Thoma, Jim & Marybeth Vogelzang, Lorraine & Harley Higbie
2000.250.1
Anonymous. Portrait of Simon de la Valle. circa 1760. Oil paint on canvas.. Funds from Jan & Frederick R. Mayer, Carl & Marilynn Thoma, Jim & Marybeth Vogelzang, Lorraine & Harley Higbie. 2000.250.1.
Dimensions
image height: 30.5 in, 77.4700 cm; image width: 25 in, 63.5000 cm; frame height: 38 3/4 in, 98.4250 cm; frame width: 32 7/8 in, 83.5025 cm; frame depth: 3 3/4 in, 9.5250 cm
Inscription
in Spanish, upper left corner.
Department
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Collection
Latin American Art

Portraiture became increasingly important in colonial Latin America where local artists generally followed the canons accepted for official portraiture in Europe, with figures portrayed in three-quarter view gazing directly at the viewer and flanked by drapery. However, in the Americas the focus on social standing often overshadowed any effort to convey the essential personality of the subject. Although colonial artists accomplished a physical likeness, the faces often show little expression. Instead artists focused their attention on depicting rich details of luxurious clothing and objects that allude to the subject’s abilities or accomplishments. Sometimes coats-of-arms or cartouches with inscriptions outlining the sitter’s heritage or honors were included.
     This portrait is one of a pair that was painted of a married couple from Trujillo, Peru. According to the inscriptions, the gentleman was born in Spain and immigrated to Peru to serve as head of the Royal Bank in Trujillo. His Spanish-American wife (2000.250.2) was born in Trujillo and descended from one of Columbus’s navigators. Both husband and wife were literate, as indicated by the writing quill and paper he holds and the book in her hand. The red and white badge on his chest indicates he is a member of the Spanish military-religious order of Calatrava.
-- Donna Pierce, 2015
 

Known Provenance
Purchased by the Denver Art Museum in 2000 with funds from Jan & Frederick R. Mayer, Carl & Marilynn Thoma, Jim & Marybeth Vogelzang, Lorraine & Harley Higbie. 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.
Exhibition History
  • “ReVision: Art in the Americas” — Denver Art Museum, 2/16/2020 – 11/8/2020

Some images in our online collection are at thumbnail size, in accordance with AAMD guidelines, because they are protected by copyright. The Denver Art Museum respects the rights of artists or their representatives who retain the copyright to their work. Other images represent the best photography available and should be used as reference images only. Please complete the Image Rights Request form if you want to request a high resolution image.