The Story of a Painting: José Gil de Castro’s Carlota Caspe y Rodríguez

Exhibition Website

Jul 7 2022 - Jul 23 2023

A story of complex social relationships underlies an exceptional painting in the TMA collection, José Gil de Castro’s portrait of Carlota Caspe y Rodríguez. Created by an Afro-Latino artist born to an enslaved African mother, Gil de Castro became one of South America’s most prominent portraitists at the dawn of Independence, creating images of political elites across the continent from Argentina to Venezuela.

This exhibition uncovers the layered meanings in this single work, examining how the sitter’s identity was constructed with costume and domestic objects; revealing how portraitist Gil de Castro asserted his identity as an artist; exploring what we learn from the painting’s materiality; and considering the work’s collection history. 

Bringing these lines of inquiry together, we appreciate the nuanced story behind this key work in the museum’s permanent collection.

Credit: Overview from museum website

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