Cristóbal de Villalpando was the leading painter of New Spain (Mexico) in the late 1700s, and one of the leading artists in the Spanish-speaking world of the time.
Baroque was a Mid-Colonial Style
Baroque was the style of exaggerated detail in European religious art and architecture from roughly 1600 to 1750. Baroque masters include Caravaggio (Italy), Rubens (Belgium), Rembrandt (Netherlands), and Velázquez (Spain).
This was also the time of king Louis XIV of France and the Palace of Versailles. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel composed Baroque music.
Latin America was far from Europe, so Baroque styling arrived in the mid-1700s just as it was falling out of style in Europe. Baroque is also the root of Brazilian art.
Cristóbal de Villalpando
Cristóbal de Villalpando was born into a powerful family in Mexico City around 1649. His name comes from Villalpando, a small town in Zamora province in northeastern Spain.
Villalpando’s early style was influenced by Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640), the Flemish Baroque master. This is a natural association because Rubens worked in what was then the Spanish Netherlands.
Over time Villalpando’s style evolved into something more relaxed like his surroundings, but with greater contrast between light and dark.
Most of Villalpando’s work is in Mexico City and Puebla.
Cristóbal de Villalpando Mexican Painter of the Baroque
Cristóbal de Villalpando Mexican Painter of the Baroque is an exhibition of eleven works at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Upper East Side from July 25 to October 15, 2017.
Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus
Villalpando painted Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus in 1683. The 28-foot tall altarpiece of a chapel in the Puebla Cathedral is considered his first masterpiece.
Puebla is a town on the road from Veracruz to Mexico City. (Cinco de Mayo commemorates the defeat of the French Army at Puebla in 1862.) Many Mexican New Yorkers originally came from Puebla.
This is the first time the painting has left the Puebla Cathedral. It was moved for a restoration.
Other highlights of the exhibition include Adoration of the Magi, from Fordham University, and The Holy Name of Mary, from the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
For tickets, visit www.metmuseum.org