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Saint Joseph and the Christ Child

Cuzco School

American Art

A number of paintings of favorite saints sometimes decorated a bedroom. (The 1784 inventory of Manuel Herrera in Oruro, in present-day Bolivia, lists more than fifty religious paintings in the alcoba.) This Cuzco school image of Saint Joseph, who also served as the patron saint of the Good Death, would have been an apt work for a bedchamber, where it would have watched over evening prayer and sleep. Images of Saint Joseph came into vogue in ecclesiastical and domestic contexts throughout the empire after 1679, when King Charles II named him the patron saint of the Spanish monarchy.


Pinturas de los santos favoritos solían decorar el dormitorio. (El inventario de 1784 de Manuel Herrera en Oruro, en la actual Bolivia, enumera más de cincuenta pinturas religiosas en la alcoba.) Esta imagen de la escuela de Cuzco de San José, que también era el santo patrono de la Buena Muerte, era una obra apropiada para un dormitorio, donde hubiese presidido la oración vespertina y el sueño. Las imágenes de San José se pusieron de moda en contextos eclesiásticos y domésticos en España y sus territorios después de 1679, cuando el Rey Carlos II lo denominara santo patrono de la monarquía española.

ARTIST Cuzco School
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Peru
  • DATES late 17th-18th century
    DIMENSIONS 43 x 32 1/8in. (109.2 x 81.6cm) frame: 45 11/16 x 35 1/16 x 2 1/2 in. (116 x 89.1 x 6.4 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS American Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 41.1275.191
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Cuzco School. Saint Joseph and the Christ Child, late 17th-18th century. Oil on canvas, 43 x 32 1/8in. (109.2 x 81.6cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1941, Frank L. Babbott Fund, 41.1275.191 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.1275.191_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 41.1275.191_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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