De Espanol y Negra, Mulato (From Spaniard and Black, Mulatto)

De Espanol y Negra, Mulato (From Spaniard and Black, Mulatto)

c. 1760
Artist
José de Alcíbar, Mexican, c.1730-1801
Attributed to
Country
Mexico
Object
painting, Casta
Medium
oil paint on canvas
Accession Number
2014.217
Credit Line
Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer

Attributed to José de Alcíbar, De Espanol y Negra, Mulato, about 1760. Oil paint on canvas; 30⅝ × 38¾ in. Gift of the Collection of Frederick and Jan Mayer to the Denver Art Museum, 2014.217.

Dimensions
frame height: 36 1/16 in, 91.5988 cm; frame width: 44 1/8 in, 112.0775 cm; frame depth: 2 3/16 in, 5.5563 cm; image height: 30 5/8 in, 77.7875 cm; image width: 38 3/4 in, 98.4250 cm
Inscription
"6. De Espanol y Negra. Mulato"
Department
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Collection
Latin American Art
This object is currently on view

José de Alcíbar was one of the most prominent painters in Mexico City in the second half of the 1700s. A key figure in the city’s cultural milieu, he was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy of San Carlos. His extensive body of works includes religious paintings, portraits, and casta (caste) paintings, a genre produced almost exclusively in Mexico in which artists delineated and ranked the results of racial mixing among Indians, Europeans, and Africans.

Part of a casta series, De Español y Negra, Mulato is one of Alcíbar’s best-known works. Casta paintings portray in detail the material world of eighteenth-century Mexico. In this domestic family scene, the African mother, who wears a traditional Mexican striped rebozo shawl, uses a molinet to froth hot chocolate in a copper pitcher. The mixed-race son, dressed in a European coat, presents a silver brazier with hot coals for his Spanish father to light a cigarette. The father’s printed coat is a banyan, a type of house gown imported from Asia. A cap on his head replaces the formal wig he would have worn in public and completes the casual outfit for relaxing at home.

Jorge F. Rivas Pérez, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Latin American Art

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 provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • Meadows Museum, Dallas, 09/1/2004 – 10/31/2004
  • "The Arts in Latin America, 1492 - 1820" — Philadelphia Museum of Art, 09/20/2006 – 12/31/2006
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 08/05/2007 – 10/28/2007
  • "American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Trans-Atlantic World" — Museum of Fine Art, Houston, 10/02/2013 – 01/05/2014
  • "Glitterati: Portraits & Jewelry from Colonial Latin America" — Denver Art Museum 12/07/2014 – 11/17/2016
  • "Made in the Americas: The New World Discovers Asia" — Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 08/18/2015 – 01/03/2017