The Annunciation

The Annunciation

Luis Lagarto, Spanish, 1556- after 1619
Born: Seville, Spain
Work Locations: Seville, Spain, Puebla, Mexico
Puebla, Mexico
Puebla School
Gouache paint on parchment with gold leaf
Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer

Luis Lagarto, The Annunciation, 1611. Gouache (opaque watercolor) and gold leaf on parchment; 12⅜ × 9¾ in. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2014.212.

image height: 12.375 in, 31.4325 cm; image width: 9.75 in, 24.7650 cm; frame height: 16 in, 40.64 cm; frame width: 13 in, 33.02 cm
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Latin American Art

Luis Lagarto (circa 1556-after 1619), the most famous book illuminator who worked in colonial Mexico, was apparently born in Seville, Spain, to the family of Juan Lagarto de Castro, a well-known teacher and illuminator. In Mexico by 1586, Luis Lagarto introduced the European tradition of book illumination to the New World where he worked in both Mexico City and Puebla. Both of his sons became artists and continued the family tradition in Mexico into the late seventeenth century.
     This example is signed on the base of the column at the lower right and dated 1611 on the base of the column in the lower left. It is one of the earliest dated paintings by Lagarto and one of his most celebrated pieces. The painting demonstrates Lagarto’s exquisite style, delicate execution, and his palette of rich pastels with jewel tones for accents and goldleaf details. It also demonstrates the quality of some of the immigrant artists who made their way to the New World from the Old.
-- Donna Pierce, 2015

Known Provenance
Gifted 25 November 2014 by the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer to the Denver Art Museum. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum. Please e-mail, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • "Painting a New World: Mexican Art and Life 1521 - 1821," Denver Art Museum (April 3 - July 25, 2004) and Meadows Museum of Art (September 1 - October 31, 2004). "The Arts of Latin America 1492 - 1820," Philadelphia Museum of Art (September 2006 - December 2006), Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City (winter/spring 2007), and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (summer 2007).