Jose Campeche is an 18th cen­tu­ry artist from San Juan, Puer­to Rico who earned mer­its for his coun­try and the Puer­to Rico flag for his works in the field of visu­al arts. Born to a for­mer Puer­to Rican slave, Tomas Campeche, and a moth­er native of the Canary Islands, Maria Mar­quez, he was a per­son with mixed roots — a mulatto.

It might be said that his expo­sure to var­i­ous cul­tures cat­a­pult­ed him into suc­cess­ful­ly becom­ing the first “known” visu­al artist of his coun­try. Campeche’s incli­na­tion towards the arts start­ed out ear­ly, and is often cred­it­ed to his father, who worked in restor­ing and paint­ing stat­ues of San­tos or saints. The young Campeche was lat­er tutored by Luis Alcazar, a learned and expe­ri­enced painter from Spain. He honed his craft well, and was soon cre­at­ing mas­ter­pieces involv­ing var­i­ous sub­jects in reli­gion and por­traits of known peo­ple in politics.

His exper­tise, espe­cial­ly in the Roco­co style of art, earned him the dis­tinc­tion of being the best in this field in the region. Being giv­en this hon­or is tru­ly over­whelm­ing to any roco­co artist because this art is main­ly focused on beau­ty. Its style gives empha­sis on how art will appeal to the sens­es of the observ­er-more aes­thet­i­cal­ly than intel­lec­tu­al­ly. This can be seen in his paint­ings: the faces of peo­ple done in such soft­ness, charm and youth — true qual­i­ties of Roco­co art.

He died in the year 1809, but his death did not dimin­ish his great­ness and his lega­cy remains as his works are trea­sured until this day in art muse­ums in his coun­try and in the hearts of his fellowmen.

Source by Pol­lux Parker