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The fall into oblivion of the works of the slave painter Juan de Pareja

Berg Publishers
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  • Iberian And Latin American Studies
  • History


This thought-provoking article focuses on the reception of the Spanish artist Juan de Pareja, the slave and collaborator of Velázquez, who developed a career at the court of Philip IV after his manumission in 1650. Fracchia examines the writings of significant commentators on Pareja, such as Antonio Palomino, Carl Justi, and Gaya Nuño. The historiography is marked by ethnic prejudices, emphasis on Pareja's social status, and comparison with Velázquez, all of which ultimately contributed to the neglect of Pareja's work until recently. In addition, Fracchia's analysis of Pareja's Calling of St Matthew reveals his own efforts to present himself in a way that would be acceptable to the seventeenth-century beholder.

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