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Audio Guide

Promotional graphic for "Juan de Pareja: Afro-Hispanic Painter"
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Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter

Hear scholars of Afro-Hispanic life in seventeenth-century Spain discuss the career and legacy of Juan de Pareja.

630. Introduction: Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter


NARRATOR: Welcome to the Audio Guide for the exhibition Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter.

Imagine the year 1926. Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, a Black Puerto Rican historian and collector, embarks on a deeply personal journey to Spain. His mission was to research and explore centuries of Black life in Europe, including that of the painter Juan de Pareja. A notable artist in his own right, Pareja was an enslaved studio assistant to famed Spanish painter Diego Velázquez.

It's been a century since Schomburg’s travels and nearly 400 years after the life of Juan de Pareja, and we’re still asking questions. This Audio Guide explores not only elements of Pareja’s career, but also his unique legacy: how it fits into both a Western artistic canon and the African diaspora, whose cultural contributions and integral roles in European society are often overlooked or oversimplified.

You’ll hear from scholars at the forefront of the ongoing research into the richness of Afro-Hispanic life in 17th-century Spain. Listen in as curators, historians, art historians, conservators, and archivists dispel old myths and shine light on this ever-evolving inquiry.

As Schomburg wrote in a landmark essay “The Negro Digs up His Past”… “History must restore what slavery took away…”

This Audio Guide is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.


  1. 630. Introduction: Juan de Pareja, Afro-Hispanic Painter
  2. 631. Selection from Schomburg’s Photo Album of His Trip to Spain
  3. 632. Schomburg Collection of Seventeenth-century Books
  4. 633. View of Seville, 1660
  5. 634. Three Boys, Bartolomé Estebán Murillo, 1670
  6. 635. Saint Benedict of Palermo, Attributed to José Montes de Oca, Spanish, 1675-1750
  7. 636. Manumission Document, 1650
  8. 637. Juan de Pareja, Diego Velázquez, 1650
  9. 638. Calling of Saint Matthew, Juan de Pareja, 1661
  10. 639. The Flight into Egypt, Juan de Pareja, 1658