collections
Mexican Colonial

Jose de Alzibar

Mexico act. 1751-1806
St. Stephen 25.0008

Stephen was among the followers that the apostles ordained to care for the physical needs of the early church community, particularly the care of widows and orphans. Accused of blasphemy by the Jewish high priest, Stephen responded by confessing his faith in the context of Hebrew religious history. The people were so enraged that they stoned him to death. He became the first martyr of the Christian faith. As the first martyr, Stephen has a special place in Christian devotion. He is often represented by Roman Catholic artists, dressed in a dalmatic, the liturgical garment worn by deacons during the Mass. He is also frequently depicted with stones nearby or holding stones, the instrument of his death. 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, a position that he held from 1781-1786.

 

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