Saint Rose of Lima with Christ Child and Donor
- Juan Rodríquez Juárez, Mexican, 1675-1728
- Born: Mexico City, Mexico
Juán Rodríquez Juárez, St. Rose of Lima with Christ Child and Donor, about 1700. Oil paint on canvas; 66 × 42 in. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2014.216.
Descended from a long line of artists in colonial Mexico, Juan Rodríguez Juárez was the most accomplished artist of his day. His great grandfather, Luis Juárez, founded the family dynasty of painters in the early 17th century. In addition, Juan's grandfather, father and brother were also well known artists. Signed by the artist, this painting joins others in the Denver Art Museum collection signed by his great grandfather, Luis Juárez, and by Juan's brother, Nicolas.
St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617), the first saint born in the New World, lived her entire life in Lima, Peru. Known for her Christian devotion as a child, she entered a Dominican convent (seen in the background) at an early age. In the painting, the band of rose thorns she wore around her forehead in imitation of the Crown of Thorns is visible. She had a particular devotion to the Christ Child, as evidenced in this painting which is based on a famous one by Murillo now in the Lázaro Galdiano Museum in Madrid. In addition, the accomplished modeling of the white fabrics creates a strong sense of volume and recalls the works of another great Spanish artist, Zurburan.
Unlike the Murillo prototype, Rodríguez Juárez has superimposed a portrait of a donor figure in the lower right corner of the composition. The lovely portrait depicts a young woman, probably named for the saint, wearing an elegant dress decorated with embroidery and lace and elaborate jewelry of gold, pearls and emeralds, both typical of the upper classes in Spain and Mexico around 1700.
-- Donna Pierce, 2015
- "The Arts In Latin America, 1492-1820," Los Angeles County Museum of Art (August 5 - October 28, 2007). "Glitterati: Portraits & Jewelry from Colonial Latin America," December 2014 - December 2016, Denver Art Museum.
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