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Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar

José Joaquín Bermejo, Pedro José Díaz

European Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830, 5th Floor
These two full-length portraits were painted in two colonial American cities— Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Lima, Peru. Despite that distance, they share a formality of pose and an emphasis on fine costume, grand setting, and symbolic details that reveal their common source in European portrait models. The enclosed gardens, for example, suggest the chaste purity of the sitters.

The two portraitists practiced under dramatically different circumstances. The Lima painter operated within a guild, modeled on Hispanic royal tradition. The guild specialized in religious art for the Catholic churches in what was then the viceregal capital city of Peru. The selftaught Philadelphia painter served a more modest market (in this case the Quaker community), whose wealth and social ambitions paled in comparison to their South American counterparts.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Lima, Peru
  • DATES ca. 1780
    DIMENSIONS 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)
    SIGNATURE Unsigned
    INSCRIPTIONS 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"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. L.H. Shearman
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION 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
    IMAGE x-ray, detail, CONS.1992.212_xrs_detail01.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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