La Pasión de Cristo según José de Alcíbar

Alena Robin


This article studies the Passion series of New Spanish painter José de Alcíbar (active 1751-1803), which is now preserved in the Museo de Arte Sacro, Chihuahua, Mexico. Signed and dated in 1776, the series is constituted of 14 large canvases. However, from an inventory of 1801 of the goods belonging to the parish church of Chihuahua (now the cathedral), it is believed this series originally had 15 canvases, and was hung in the nave of the church. The series is quite singular for different reasons. First of all, in the less glorious moment of the city was the series patronized to one of the most famous painter in the Viceroyalty. Also, the iconography of the paintings is quite complex. Although one canvas seems to be missing from the original series, all of the remaining canvases have two, and sometimes three, secondary scenes. The purpose of the article is to analyze this important series and try to understand how it functioned from the inside and the outside: how it should be read and how it is related to some pious exercises realized within the church.

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