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Doña Josefa de la Cotera y Calvo de la Puerta, Marquesa of Rivas Cacho


European Art

To explain and legitimize their place within the imperial system, the Spanish American elite displayed titles and coats of arms in portraits as proud markers of rank. Here, Mexico City’s Creole (a term used to denote native-born colonials of European, especially Spanish, descent) marquesa of Rivas Cacho, adorned with diamond and pearl earrings, appears beside her family’s coat of arms.
ARTIST Mexican
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Mexico
  • DATES 1816
    DIMENSIONS 33 x 25 1/2 in. (83.8 x 64.8 cm) frame: 38 x 31 x 2 in. (96.5 x 78.7 x 5.1 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed lower left: "La Sra. Da. Josepha de la Cotera/y Calvo de la Puerta, Marquesa/de Rivasacho./Año de 1816."
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Dona Josefa de la Cotera y Calvo de la Puerta, Marguesa del Rivescacho (dates unknown). An oil painting by an unknown artist dated 1816 in which she is shown as an older woman. Her hair is white and worn in a braided knot in the back of her head. Although her dates are unknown it is known that she was married in 1782. She wears a white dress and a blue shawl that has embroidery around the edges and a gold fringe. She has elaborate earrings on, and rings on both hands on the fourth and fifth fingers. She is shown three-quarter length and view facing to the left side of the picture.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Mexican. Doña Josefa de la Cotera y Calvo de la Puerta, Marquesa of Rivas Cacho, 1816. Oil on canvas, 33 x 25 1/2 in. (83.8 x 64.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 52.166.5 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.166.5_PS4.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 52.166.5_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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