Collections: European Art: Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Easy Chair (Butaca)

Butacas, colonial low easy chairs derived from pre-Columbian seat forms (see illustration), were ideal for intimate domestic spaces. The eli...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Figurine of a Steatopygous Female

    During the Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period, sculptors occasionally depicted the female form in a highly schematic manner: flat...


    Want to add this object to a set? Please join the Posse, or log in.


    1992.212_SL1.jpg CONS.1992.212_xrs_detail01.jpg CONS.1992.212_xrs_detail02.jpg CONS.1992.212_xrs_detail03.jpg CONS.1992.212_xrs_detail04.jpg CONS.1992.212_xrs_detail05.jpg

    Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar

    Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar is portrayed in her Lima home dressed in a brilliantly embroidered tobajilla (ankle-length gown). She stands at her dressing table before an arched entry that gives way to a manicured landscape and the grand archway of the Paseo de Aguas (see illustration) leading to the Plaza de Acho, Lima’s famed bullring founded by Doña Mariana and her husband. The sitter became a leading social figure and hostess of a salon frequented by the countess of Monteblanco and Montemar (whose portrait is also displayed in this exhibition) and others of the Creole and peninsular Spanish elite.

    Doña Mariana was best known, however, as a central figure in one of Lima’s most notorious social scandals of the day. Her hand was initially promised to Hipólito de Landaburrú, many years her senior and allegedly “uglier than an excommunication.” This proposed marriage, famously unwanted and unconsummated, was avoided when Mariana entered the convent. Reemerging from the cloister in 1755, after her fiancé had died, Doña Mariana married Hipólito’s wealthy nephew, Colonel Agustín de Landaburrú y Rivera, Lima’s alcalde (mayor).

    Doña Mariana Belsunse y Salasar está representada en su casa de Lima llevando una tobajilla (vestido hasta el tobillo) brillantemente bordada. Doña Mariana ha sido retratada en su tocador frente a una arquería que se abre a un cuidado paisaje y a la magnífica arcada del Paseo de Aguas (ver ilustración), la cual conduce a la Plaza de Acho, una célebre plaza de toros en Lima, fundada por doña Mariana y su marido. La modelo era una importante figura social y anfitrio-na de un salón frecuentado por la condesa de Monteblanco y Montemar (cuyo retrato también se ve en esta exposición) y otros criollos y españoles peninsulares de la élite.

    Doña Mariana era conocida por sobre todo como la figura central de uno de los escándalos sociales más notorios en la Lima de la época. Su mano había sido prometida a Hipólito de Landaburrú, muchos años mayor y según se decía “más feo que una excomunión.” Este matrimonio propuesto, no deseado y no consumado, se evitó cuando Mariana entró al convento. Al resurgir del claustro en 1755, después de la muerte de su prometido, doña Mariana se casó con el poderoso sobrino de Hipólito, el Coronel Agustín de Landaburrú y Rivera, alcalde de Lima.

    • Artists: José Joaquín Bermejo, Peruvian, active ca. 1760-1792; or Pedro José Díaz, Peruvian, active 1770-1810
    • 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
    • Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, American Landscape/Colony to Nation, 5th Floor
    • Exhibitions:
    • Accession Number: 1992.212
    • Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. L.H. Shearman
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • 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: overall, 1992.212_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Record Completeness: Best (93%)
    advanced 110,591 records currently online.

    Separate each tag with a space: painting portrait.

    Or join words together in one tag by using double quotes: "Brooklyn Museum."

    Please review the comment guidelines before posting.

    Before you comment...

    We get a lot of comments, so before you post yours, check to see if your issue is addressed by one of the questions below. Click on a question to see our answer:

    Why are some objects not on view?

    The Museum’s permanent collections are very large and only a fraction of these can be on exhibition at any given time. Sometimes works are lent to other museums for special exhibitions; sometimes they are in the conservation laboratory for study or maintenance. Certain types of objects, such as watercolors, textiles, and photographs, are sensitive to light and begin to fade if they are exposed for too long, so their exhibition time is limited. Finally, as large as the Museum is, there is not enough room to display everything in the collections. In order to present our best works, collections are rotated periodically.

    How do I find out how much an object in the Brooklyn Museum collections is worth?

    The Museum does not disclose the monetary values of objects in its collections.

    Can you tell me the value of an artwork that I own?

    The Museum does not provide monetary appraisals. To determine the value of an object or to find an appraiser, you may contact the Art Dealers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.

    I own a similar object. Can you tell me more about it?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you own and as much information about it as you can, and we will provide any additional information we are able to find. Please note that research in our files is a lengthy process, and you may not have a response for some time.

    How would I go about lending or gifting a work to the Museum or seeing if the Museum is interested in purchasing a work that I own?

    Please submit via e-mail a photograph of the object you would like us to consider, as well as all of the information you have about it, and your offer will be forwarded to the appropriate curator. The Brooklyn Museum collections are very rich, and we have many works that are not currently on exhibition; because of this, and because storage space is limited, we are very selective about adding works. However, the collection has become what it is today through the generosity of the public, and we continue to be grateful for this generosity, which can still lead to exciting new acquisitions.

    How can I get a reproduction of a work in your collection?

    Please see the Museum’s information on Image Services.

    How can I show my work to someone at the Museum or be considered for an exhibition?

    Please see the Museum’s Artist Submission Guidelines.

    Why do many objects not have photographs and/or complete descriptions?

    The Museum's collection is very large, and we are constantly in the process of adding photographs and descriptions to works that do not currently have them, or replacing photographs that have deteriorated beyond use and descriptions that are minimal or out of date. This is a long and expensive process that takes time.

    How can I find a conservator or get advice on how to treat my artwork?

    Please visit the American Institute for Conservation, which has a feature on how to find a conservator.

    I have a comment or question which is not included in this list.

    Join the posse or log in to work with our collections. Your tags, comments and favorites will display with your attribution.