José Campeche

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José Campeche y Jordán
José Campeche.JPG
José Campeche
José Campeche Jordán

December 03, 1751
DiedNovember 7, 1809
San Juan,Puerto Rico
NationalityPuerto Rican
EducationTrained by Luis Paret y Alcázar
Known forPainting
Notable work
Virgen de la Soledad de la Victoria, Our Lady of Bethlehem, The Virgin of the Rosary, Saint John the Baptist, The Sacred Family, The Bishop of San Francisco de la Cuerda, The Vision of Saint Anthony and The Shipwreck of Power in honor of Ramón Power y Giralt,

José Campeche y Jordán[note 1] (December 23, 1751 – November 7, 1809), is the first known Puerto Rican visual artist and considered by art critics as one of the best rococo artists in the Americas. Campeche y Jordán loved to use colors that referenced the landscape of Puerto Rico, as well as the social and political crème de la crème.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Campeche was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His parents were Tomás Campeche (1701–1780) and María Jordán y Marqués. His father was a freed slave born in Puerto Rico and his mother was a native of the Canary Islands. His father, a restorer and painter of religious statues, was an early influence on the young Campeche's interest in the arts. Campeche was trained by Luis Paret y Alcázar, a Spanish court painter banished from Spain.[2][3][4]


Campeche distinguished himself with his paintings related to religious themes and of governors and other important personalities. His most famous paintings and his best known portraits are of:[2][3][4]

  • Juan Alejo de Arizmendi
  • Our Lady of Bethlehem
  • Portrait of Brigadier don Ramón de Castro y Gutiérrez
  • Portrait of Governor don Miguel de Ustariz
  • Saint John the Baptist
  • The Bishop of San Francisco de la Cuerda
  • The Rescue of Don Ramón Power y Giralt in honor of Ramón Power y Giralt
  • The Sacred Family
  • The Virgin of the Rosary
  • The Vision of Saint Anthony
  • Virgen de la Soledad de la Victoria
  • Doña María de los Dolores Gutiérrez del Mazo y Pérez, ca. 1796.


Not only did the Puerto Rican society of the time appreciate Campeche's personal and artistic merits but he is now considered to be amongst the most gifted rococo artists in the Americas. His works of art can be found in museums, churches and chapels, such as Capilla del Cristo in San Juan, and in private collections in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Campeche died in the city of San Juan on November 7, 1809.[3][4]

High-resolution images of works of art from Puerto Rico's museums are being digitized and made available online with the help of the Institute, Google Arts & Culture, Lin Manuel Miranda and other stakeholders. 350 such works were available online by November 7, 2019 including many works by José Campeche.[5][6][7][8]



  1. ^ This article uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Campeche and the second or maternal family name is Jordán.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tatum, Charles M. (2014). Encyclopedia of Latino Culture: From Calaveras to Quinceañeras. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-440-80099-3. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 882253127
  2. ^ a b c Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
  3. ^ a b c d Smithsonian American Art Museum
  4. ^ a b c d El Nuevo Dia Archived July 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Katz, Leslie (7 November 2019). "Lin-Manuel Miranda and Google introduce Puerto Rican art to everyone". CNET. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Puerto Rico". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Una plataforma de Google digitalizará sobre 2,000 pinturas en Puerto Rico". El Nuevo Dia (in Spanish). 7 November 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
  8. ^ "The Pictorial Solemnity of Campeche - Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 8 November 2019.

External links[edit]

  • El Nuevo Dia
  • José Campeche - Testigo de la Ciudad, Arturo Dávila, Cuadernos de Cultura #12, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2005