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This canvas is one of various identical portraits that José Gil de Castro painted of Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), upon the hero’s arrival in Peru. Their purpose was to exalt the figure of the Liberator, who would shortly afterwards assume the leadership of the state. The composition is apparently based on a previous pictorial model, probably a work by the Colombian painter Pedro José Figueroa. Following a method inherited from Colonial workshops, Gil de Castro minutely describes the colorful military uniform and the new emblems of power, which contrast with the synthetic form with which he endows his subject’s face.

Details

  • Title: Simón Bolívar
  • Date Created: ca. 1823
  • Physical Dimensions: w510 x h655 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Colección Museo de Arte de Lima. Fondo de Adquisiciones 2006. Restaurado con el patrocinio de Amigo del Museo
  • painter: José Gil de Castro
  • Título original: Simón Bolívar
  • Técnica: Óleo sobre tela
  • Texto curatorial: El presente lienzo es uno de los varios retratos idénticos que José Gil de Castro realizara de Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), con motivo de su llegada al Perú. Su propósito era exaltar la figura del Libertador, quien pronto asumiría la jefatura del estado. Al parecer, se basan en un modelo pictórico previo, probablemente un original del pintor colombiano Pedro José Figueroa. Siguiendo una modalidad heredada de los talleres virreinales, Gil de Castro describe con minuciosidad el vistoso uniforme militar y los nuevos emblemas del poder, la cual contrasta con la forma sintética con la que plasma el rostro de Bolívar.

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