Juan de Pareja

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Juan de Pareja
Diego Velázquez - Juan de Pareja (Metropolitan Museum of Art de Nueva York, 1649-50), detalle.jpg
Detail of Velázquez's Portrait of Juan de Pareja
Born 1606
Antequera, Málaga, Spain
Died 1670 (aged 63–64)
Madrid, Spain
Education Diego Velázquez
Known for Painting
Movement Baroque
Portrait of the Architect José Ratés Dalmau, oil on canvas (116 x 97 cm), Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia

Juan de Pareja (c. 1606 in Antequera – 1670 in Madrid)[1] was a Spanish painter, born into slavery in Antequera, near Málaga, Spain. He is known primarily as a member of the household and workshop of painter Diego Velázquez, who freed him in 1650. His 1661 work The Calling of St. Matthew (sometimes also referred to as The Vocation of St. Matthew) is on display at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

De Pareja became Velazquez's assistant sometime after the master returned to Madrid from his first trip to Italy in January 1631. After the death of Velazquez, Pareja became an assistant to painter Juan del Mazo.[2]


Juan de Pareja was born into slavery, the son of an enslaved mulatto (mixed-race) woman and Spanish father. He was described as a "Morisco," being "of mixed parentage and a strange color."[3] At the time morisco had two possible meanings. It referred both to descendants of Muslims who converted to Catholicism and remained in Spain after the Reconquest, and to the children of a Spaniard and a mulatto.

De Pareja was inherited by Velazquez and became an assistant in his painting after 1631. Velázquez later freed Pareja while they were in Rome during a trip to Italy in 1650. Around the same time Velázquez painted Pareja's portrait, which is now held in New York.[4] The document of his manumission is held in the state archive of Rome.[5]


  • Portrait of Agustín Moreto (1648–53), oil on canvas, Lazaro Galdiano Foundation, Madrid
  • Portrait of a Monk (1651)
  • The Calling of Saint Matthew (1661), oil on canvas, 225 x 325 cm, Museo del Prado
  • Saints John the Evangelist and Orontius, Augusting Collection, Madrid
  • The Lady of Guadalupe, Augustine Collection, Madrid
  • Portrait of the Architect José Ratés Dalmau, oil on canvas (116 x 97 cm.), Museo de Bellas Artes de Valencia.

Works of Pareja[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ William Stirling Maxwell (1848). Annals of the artists of Spain, Volume 2. J. Ollivier. 
  2. ^ The Crisis. The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc. February 1980. p. 50. ISSN 0011-1422. 
  3. ^ Palomino, Antonio (1988). El museo pictórico y escala óptica III. El parnaso español pintoresco laureado. Madrid : Aguilar S.A. de Ediciones.
  4. ^ See Carmen Fracchia's article in The Slave in European Art: From Renaissance Trophy to Abolitionist Emblem, ed Elizabeth McGrath and Jean Michel Massing, London: The Warburg Institute, and Turin, 2012.
  5. ^ The document, discovered by Jennifer Montagu, is in the Archivio di Stato in Rome. See Burlington Magazine, volume 125, 1983, pp. 683-4


External links[edit]