Cristóbal de Villalpando (ca. 1649–1714) emerged in the 1680s not only as the leading painter in viceregal Mexico, but also as one of the most innovative and accomplished artists in the entire Spanish world. Opening July 24th at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the exhibition Cristóbal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque features his earliest masterpiece, a monumental painting depicting the biblical accounts of Moses and the brazen serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus that was painted in 1683 for a chapel in Puebla Cathedral. Newly conserved, this 28-foot-tall canvas has never been exhibited outside its place of origin. Ten additional works, most of which have never been shown in the United States, will also be exhibited. Highlights include Villalpando’s recently discovered Epiphany, on loan from Fordham University, and The Holy Name of Mary, from the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe.
The exhibition was curated by Ronda Kasl, Curator of Latin American Art in The American Wing at The Met; Jonathan Brown, Carol and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University; and Clara Bargellini, Professor, Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
Catalogue and Programs
A scholarly catalogue in English and Spanish published by Fomento Cultural Banamex will accompany the exhibition. Essays address the major themes of the exhibition and document the conservation of Villalpando’s Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus.
A series of exhibition tours will complement the exhibition.
The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C. It is made possible by Citibanamex and Fundación Diez Morodo.
Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico (SRE), AMEXCID, and the Consulate General of Mexico in New York.
Image: Cristóbal de Villalpando (ca 1649-1714) Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus (detail), 1683. Oil on canvas. Col. Propiedad de la Nación Mexicana. Secretaría de Cultura. Dirección General de Sitios y Monumentos del Patrimonio Cultural. Acervo de la Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción, Puebla, Mexico.