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Don Juan Xavier Joachín Gutiérrez Altamirano Velasco, Count of Santiago de Calimaya

Miguel Cabrera

European Art

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
Accompanied by a prominent heraldic escutcheon that is larger than his face, the powerful Creole Don Juan Xavier Joachín here poses in a dazzling European-style costume and powdered wig appropriate to his station. A lengthy inscription emphasizes his court appointments, among them a lifetime position as governor of the Philippines. Spain began granting titles of nobility to elite individuals in the New World shortly after the European conquest.

Don Juan Xavier Joachín was a descendant of Luís de Velasco, New Spain’s viceroy who, in addition to inaugurating the first university in North America in 1553, freed 15,000 indigenous people from domestic servitude and work in labor camps and mines. Unlike many colonial officials of Spanish birth, the viceroy considered himself a Creole.

Acompañado por un prominente blasón heráldico más grande que su rostro, el poderoso criollo don Juan Xavier Joaquín posa aquí en un deslumbrante traje de estilo europeo y una peluca empolvada apropiada a su rango. Una larga inscripción resalta sus nombramientos en la corte, entre los cuales destaca su posición vitalicia como gobernador de Filipinas. España comenzó a otorgar títulos nobiliarios a individuos de la élite del Nuevo Mundo poco tiempo después de la conquista europea.

Don Juan Xavier Joaquín era un descendiente de Luís de Velasco, virrey de la Nueva España, quien, aparte de inaugurar la primera universidad en Norteamérica en 1553, liberó a 15.000 indígenas del servicio doméstico y del trabajo forzado en campos y minas. A diferencia de muchos oficiales coloniales de cuna española, el virrey se consideraba a sí mismo un criollo.

MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Mexico
  • DATES ca. 1752
    DIMENSIONS 81 5/16 x 53 1/2 in. (206.5 x 135.9 cm) frame: 98 1/2 x 66 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. (250.2 x 168.9 x 14 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left (under shield): " Michl Cabrera pinxit"
    INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed lower left on cartouche: "El Sr. Dn. Juan Xa-/vier Joachin Gu-/tierrez Altamirano Velas/co, y Castilla Albornos,Lo-/pez Legaspy Ortiz de Oraa/Gorraez Beaumont, y Nava-/rra,Luna de Arellano,Cõde/de Santiago Calimaya, Mar-/ques de Salinas del Rio Pi-/zuerga,Sr. de las Casas d Cas/tilla, y Soza, y delas Villas de/Verninches,y Azequilla,de Ro-/mancos,y de Azuquequa d Na-/res, Cavallero del Sacro Romano/Imperio, por mro. del Sr. Emperador Car-/los quinto Adelãtado perpetuo dlas Islas/Philipinas, Contador d S.Mag.d y del Rl./y Tribl. dela Sta. Cruzada; muriõ/el dia 17 de Junio de 1752, de Edad./de 41as.y 2 meses"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    CREDIT LINE Museum Collection Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Miguel Cabrera (Mexican, 1695-1768). Don Juan Xavier Joachín Gutiérrez Altamirano Velasco, Count of Santiago de Calimaya, ca. 1752. Oil on canvas, 81 5/16 x 53 1/2 in. (206.5 x 135.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund, 52.166.1
    IMAGE overall, 52.166.1_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Don Juan Xavier Joachim Cutierrez Altamirano Velasco (1711-1752). An oil painting of Don Juan by Miguel Cabrera. The full length figure stands by a table in front of a draped red curtain against a dull gray background. His coat is richly embroidered in blue and yellow flowers, and the sleeves have a red and blue floral pattern which matches the under coat. The outer coat matches the trousers. The lining is the same bright red as the stockings. White pleated material is at his neck and sleeves. A cockaded hat is under his left arm, and a pair of gloves is in his left hand. He holds a sundial in a red box in sword shows beneath the left side of his coat. Condition: Good, though there are cracks along the lower left and right sides, and in the picture around his legs.
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