Portrait of Doña María Josefa Brito
- unknown artist
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 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