collections
Mexican Colonial

Jose de Alzibar

Mexico act. 1751-1806
Saint Francis Xavier 25.0009

The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier was born near Pamplona in Spain in 1506. After meeting Ignatius Loyola in Paris, he became one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus, or Jesuits, in 1534. His life was spent in missionary work, making trips to India Japan, and China, where he died. He was canonized in 1622. Xavier's membership in the Jesuits is indicated by the Jesuit shield (IHS is the abbreviation of Jesus' name in Greek). The pilgrim's staff and gourd refer to his missionary journeys. The crucifix and lilies (symbol of purity) are also frequently seen in his representations. A painter of both portraits and religious subjects, Alzibar, along with Ibarra and Cabrera, founded the short-lived Mexico City Academy of 1753. He was later named associate director of painting at the newly established Fine Arts Academy of San Carlos.

 

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