Circle of


(Mexican, Eighteenth Century)



The Archangel Gabriel



Oil on canvas

66 x 33 inches

(167,6 x 83.8 cm)


Private Collection, Cranston, Rhode Island (by the 1950s?); by family descent until sold at Bill Spicer Auction, North Kingstown, R.I., Jan. 26, 2011; there purchased by a dealer who consigned it to: CRN Auctions, Cambridge, Mass, sale of May 1, 2011, lot 69; Private Collection; CRN Auctions, Cambridge, Mass., sale of Jan. 6. 2013, lot 10.


Heroic depictions of the angels are one of the most appealing subjects in Spanish colonial paintings and the great Mexican baroque painter Cristobal de Villapando (1649-1714) painted several, whether as part of larger compositions or individually, (as in the paintings in the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, San Pedro Chulula, Puebla, and the Templo de la Magdalena Coacalco, Berriozábal),  Dr. Orlando Hernandez, author of “Angels in the Americas; Paintings of Aprocryphal Angels in Spain and its American Viceroyalties” was the first to propose Cristobal de Villalpando as the author of this unpublished painting of the Archangel Gabriel, long in an American collection.  However, Dr. Clara Bargellini and Dr. Rogelio Ruiz Gomar have suggested that it may be the work ofJosé Sánchez Valverde, an associate of Cristobal de Villalpando, who was active in the city of Querétaro.