Portrait of Doña María Josefa Brito

Portrait of Doña María Josefa Brito

about 1790
Artist
unknown artist
Locale
Yucatan
Country
Mexico
painting
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer
2013.378

Unknown artist, Portrait of Doña María Josefa Brito, about 1790. Oil paint on canvas; 5⅞ × 4½ in. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2013.378.

This object is currently on view
Dimensions
height: 5 7/8 in, 14.9225 cm; width: 4.5 in, 11.4300 cm
Inscription
Upper left corner (in Spanish), "In the province of Yucatan, Dona Maria Josefa Brito", on the card in her hand (in Spanish), "To my dearest husband, Don Manuel Brito"
Department
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Collection
Latin American Art

This young woman holds a fan and wears pearl and green-glass bead bracelets, a black ribbon choker embellished with coral and silver or diamonds, and coral earrings. Her hairstyle, decorated with blue, white, and red feathers, is reminiscent of the elaborate up-dos worn by the French queen Marie Antoinette (1755–1793).
Late in the colonial period, small, personal traveling portraits became common, such as this one. The painting is inscribed in the upper left, “In the province of Yucatán, Doña María Josefa Brito.” The small card she holds in her hand reads, “To my dearest husband, Don Manuel Brito.”
--Julie Wilson Frick, 2017

Known Provenance
Gifted 25 November 2015 by Frederick and Jan Mayer of Denver, CO, 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.