Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar
José Joaquín Bermejo or Pedro José Díaz
The sitter for this portrait has been depicted with the conspicuous luxury that befitted her high social status in Spanish colonial Peru. She wears an ankle-length gown called a tobajilla, intricately embroidered in silver and gold over a costly blue and white striped satin or silk fabric. Her buckled shoes are in a matching blue, and she is further adorned with a bejeweled tiara, a silver chandelier earring with large teardrop pearls, matching bracelets, and a choker and a necklace. In her hand is a small but extravagant watch with a silver and pearl pendant.
Doña Mariana was a central figure in one of Lima’s most notorious scandals: she entered a convent to avoid marrying an older man and, when he died, emerged from the cloister to marry the man’s nephew, the wealthy mayor of Lima. The fashionable and brilliant blue of her dress may thus also have been selected to emphasize her chastity.
Oil on canvas
Canvas: 78 1/8 x 50 1/16 in. (198.4 x 127.2 cm)
frame: 81 x 53 7/8 x 2 1/2 in. (205.7 x 136.8 x 6.4 cm) (show scale)
Inscribed lower right in cartouche: "La Sra. Da Ma / riana Belsunso / y Salasar. / Na / tural de Lima M[u?] / ger legitima de Coronol Agustin de Landal[uru?] y Rivera"
This item is not on view
Gift of Mrs. L.H. Shearman
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José Joaquín Bermejo (Peruvian, active ca. 1760-1792). Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar, ca. 1780. Oil on canvas, Canvas: 78 1/8 x 50 1/16 in. (198.4 x 127.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. L.H. Shearman, 1992.212 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1992.212_SL1.jpg)
overall, 1992.212_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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