Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CAMPECHE, Jose (cam-pay'-che), Porto Rican painter, born in St. John, Porto Rico, 6 January, 1752; died 7 November, 1809. He belonged to an humble family, and received no artistic education, but from early childhood showed extraordinary fondness for drawing, and soon became noted for his compositions and portraits, drawn with charcoal or chalk on the walls and curbstones. Without means of any kind, he learned how to prepare canvas and paints, and how to make brushes, varnishes, and everything else necessary to the use of colors. Only in the second period of his artistic career did he receive some few lessons from the Spanish painter Luis Paredes. Campeche gained great reputation, and King Charles IV., of Spain, appointed him painter to the royal household ; but he never left Porto Rico. His paintings numbered over 400, many of them being very large. Their chief qualities are good composition, correctness of drawing, and beauty of color. The most remarkable are "St. Michel fighting Satan," " Our Lady of Mercy," "The Siege of St. John of Porto Rico by the English in 1797," " St. Stephen," " Our Lady of Sorrows," and the "Nativity of the Saviour." Campeche also showed artistic power in sculpture, architecture, and music.
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