Exvoto de la Sagrada Familia (18th century) by José Campeche y JordánInstituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña
An Ex-voto is an offering to a saint or a divinity presented by the faithful after fulfilling a vow, as a display of gratitude or as a show of devotion. Ex-votos are normally placed in a church or a chapel where the worshiper seeks grace or wishes to give thanks.
The palette of pink and blue tones chosen for this painting makes it stand out as an outstanding representation of the Rococo style developed in Spanish America.
The history of Puerto Rican art tells us that the presence of the Rococo style in Campeche's work originates from the numerous encounters with Luis Parét y Alcázar, a painter of the Spanish court who was exiled to Puerto Rico, since it is after this moment that we can notice a distinct change in the colors of Campeche’s palette.
This work by Campeche represents the first depiction of enslaved black people in Puerto Rican art.
The slaves depicted in this painting were part of the dowry of the young Carmelite nun.