Da. Joaquina Valdez y Cepeda.
Miniatura numerada 586
Francisco Cabrera

Cabrera, Francisco (1780-1845). Miniaturista y grabador. Nació en la ciudad de Guatemala el 18 de septiembre. Para 1796, cuando tenía 16 años, su maestro Pedro Garci-Aguirre lo propuso como maestro corrector de la Casa de la Moneda y la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País. A finales de 1808 participó junto a Casildo España y Manuel Portillo en la notable obra impresa “Guatemala”, por Fernando VII. Después de la Independencia, en 1821, su labor como troquelador de la Casa de la Moneda se hizo de mayor responsabilidad porque los modelos debían diseñarse en Guatemala. Como retratista, además de Garci-Aguirre tenía influencias de Juan José Rosales, grabador y pintor guatemalteco que conservaba parte de la tradición barroca, pero con elementos románticos, entremezclado todo ello en un agradable tono de pintor popular.
Cabrera representa el auge del retrato en miniatura en Guatemala y fue en esta especialidad que ganó fama. Las miniaturas- retratos hechos sobre marfil- llegaron a varios centenares. Otra obra importante de Cabrera fue su participación en el Atlas Guatemalteco, con mapas y planos hechos por él y Casildo España. También realizó algunas figuras de santos.


BIBLIOGRAFIA
H. Garavito: Francisco Cabrera: Miniaturista guatemalteco (Guatemala City, 1945)
Francisco Cabrera (1781–1845) (exh. cat. by J. Luján-Muñoz, Guatemala City, Bib. N., 1984)

Fuentes: Prensa Libre

 

Cabrera, Francisco
(b Guatemala City, 16 Sept 1781; d Guatemala City, 21 Nov 1845).
Guatemalan painter, printmaker and medallist. He entered the mint in 1795 as an apprentice engraver but on the recommendation of its director, Pedro Garci-Aguirre, also became Master Corrector at the Escuela de Dibujo de la Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País, Guatemala City, in 1796, holding the post until 1804. He continued working at the mint until 1809 and demonstrated outstanding skill both as a medallist and engraver of coins and as an engraver and etcher. He returned to the mint in 1823 as second engraver, remaining in the post until his death.

Despite the quality of his work as a printmaker and medallist, Cabrera gained artistic recognition especially as a miniature painter, working mostly in watercolour on ivory in a meticulous technique. He produced some miniatures on religious themes and others of birds, but the majority, measuring no more than 50 mm in height or width, were portraits of members of the Guatemalan aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It is not known exactly how many he produced, but from the middle of the 1830s he began to number them, starting from 500; the highest known number of the approximately 200 authenticated miniatures is 745. Although he suffered some illness, he was most productive during the last five years of his life. An evolution can be discerned from his earliest works, dating from c. 1810, in which he painted in compact and smooth vertical strokes on grey backgrounds tinged with green, through to the extraordinarily fine quality of anatomical drawing in his final works, with pale blue backgrounds. He had several students, including Justo Letona, José Letona, Delfina Luna and Leocadia Santa Cruz, but none rivalled him in quality. As a miniature painter he remained an essentially solitary figure, following no local precedents and leaving no substantial legacy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
H. Garavito: Francisco Cabrera: Miniaturista guatemalteco (Guatemala City, 1945)
Francisco Cabrera (1781–1845) (exh. cat. by J. Luján-Muñoz, Guatemala City, Bib. N., 1984)
JORGE LUJÁN-MUÑOZ

Luján-Muñoz, Jorge: 'Cabrera, Francisco', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy (Accessed 07/12/2002) <http://www.groveart.com>

 

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