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Artist Painter, José Campeche

José Campeche


Born: in San Juan January 6 1752

José Campeche, Puerto Rican painter, was born in San Juan on January 6th, 1752 to Tomás de Rivafrecha y Campeche (1701–1780), a freed slave born in Puerto Rico, and María Jordán y Marqués from the Canary Islands. . He studied with his father, who was also a painter, decorator and dorador. From 1775 to 1778 he studied with Luis Paret, a famous Spanish painter exiled in Puerto Rico. Campeche is considered the founder of Puerto Rican national painting and the most important painter in America during the 18th century.

Some of his most famous paintings are: the portraits of Ramón de Castro and Miguel A. de Ustáriz, the Virgin of Belen, the Virgin of the Rosary, Saint John the Baptist, the Sacred Family, the Bishop of San Francisco de la Cuerda and the Vision of Saint Anthony. Campeche also excelled in architecture and wood carving; he built the altar of Saint Anne’s church in San Juan and an altar-piece in Hormigueros. Campeche died on November, 7 1809.

Campeche's best paintings are his portraits because he gives great attention to detail of features. His portraits show characteristics of the French rococo, also marked by national elements of historical, geographical, and anecdotal nature. Among his portraits are Doña María de los Dolores Martínez de Carvajal (c. 1792), Las hijas del gobernador don Ramón de Castro (1797), Dama a caballo (c. 1785) and El Obispo don Juan Alejo de Arizmendi de la Torre (1808).


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