José Campeche

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José Campeche y Jordán
José Campeche.JPG
José Campeche
Born José Campeche Jordán
December 23, 1751
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Died November 7, 1809
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Nationality Puerto Rican
Education Trained by Luis Paret y Alcázar
Known for Painting
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,
Movement Rococo

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.[1]

Early years[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][1][3]

Paintings by Campeche[edit]

Campeche distinguished himself with his paintings related to religious themes and of governors and other important personalities. His most famous paintings are:[2][1][3] and his best known portraits are of:

  • 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.
Some of José Campeche's works
Painting by Jose Campeche.gif Rescue of Ramon Power.jpg José Campeche (Puerto Rican, 1751-1809). Doña María de los Dolores Gutiérrez del Mazo y Pérez, ca. 1796..jpg Jose Campeche - San Juan Nepomuceno - Smithsonian.jpg
Virgen de la Soledad de la Victoria
(c. 1782-1789)
The Rescue of Don Ramón Power y Giralt
(c. 1790)
"Doña María de los Dolores Gutiérrez del Mazo y Pérez"
(ca. 1796)
San Juan Nepomuceno
(c. 1798)
Ramon de Castro.jpg
"Ramón de Castro"

Puerto Rican society of the time appreciated Campeche's personal and artistic merits and 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 private collections in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Campeche died in the city of San Juan on November 7, 1809.[2][1][3]


  • There is a "José Campeche room" in the former Dominican Convent in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, where some of his works can be seen. The building is currently being renovated and will be reinaugurated as the National Gallery of Puerto Rico.
  • Puerto Rico has various schools and avenues named after Campeche to honor his memory.
  • The José Campeche High School is located in San Lorenzo.
  • Manuel Gregorio Tavárez composed a funeral march "Redención" in Campeche's honor.
  • Puerto Rico's greatest graphic artist Lorenzo Homar also created a work of art commemorating Campeche.
  • Campeche is buried in the San José Church in Old San Juan.[2][1][3]


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

See also[edit]


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

External links[edit]