Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I, Juan de Pareja

by Elizabeth Borton de Trevino

This is enjoyable biography of a noble and compassionate man, a slave who overcame the obstacles in his life to become a great painter. Unfortunately, it's not true. Well, I should say it's based on reality, but like the author herself says, "very little, for certain is known about [Juan de Pareja]." What is known is that Sr. Pareja was a slave, and was inherited by the great Spanish artist Diego Velázquez. We also know that Sr. Pareja became a painter, despite the fact that a slave was forbidden to do so under Spanish law. Ms. Trevino creatively fills in the gaps giving us a tale of what it might be like to be the slave of a great artist. While it isn't true history, it's good reading. You might as well check it out since she's gone to all the trouble to write it.
LibraryThing link


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