Cristóbal de Villalpando (ca. 1649–1714) emerged in the 1680s not only as the leading painter in Mexico, but also as one of the most innovative and accomplished artists in the entire Spanish world. This exhibition features his earliest masterpiece, a monumental painting showing two scenes—Moses and the brazen serpent, and the Transfiguration of Jesus—in an unprecedented juxtaposition of these Old and New Testament subjects. Painted in 1683 for a chapel in Puebla Cathedral and newly conserved, the 28-foot-tall painting has never before been exhibited outside its place of origin in Puebla, Mexico. Ten additional works are shown that demonstrate Villalpando's engagement with concepts of invention and professional identity, his ability to convey complex subject matter, and his capacity to envision the divine. Highlights include his recently discovered Adoration of the Magi, on loan from Fordham University, and The Holy Name of Mary, from the Museum of the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
"The outstanding altarpiece ... should be a pilgrimage site of its own this summer."
—New York Times
"Stunning" —Wall Street Journal
The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Fomento Cultural Banamex, A.C.
It is made possible by Citibanamex and Fundación Diez Morodo.
Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico (SRE), AMEXCID, and the Consulate General of Mexico in New York.
Cristóbal de Villalpando (Mexican, ca. 1649–1714). Moses and the Brazen Serpent and the Transfiguration of Jesus (detail), 1683. Oil on canvas, 28 ft. 4 9/16 in. × 18 ft. 9/16 in. (865 × 550.1 cm). Cathedral of Puebla