- José Campeche was the most important painter of portraits and religious imagery in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Puerto Rico. He learned his skills from his father, a slave who purchased his freedom by carving altarpieces.
Felipe de la Espada lived with his family in the old town of San Germán, in the southwestern region of Puerto Rico. The creation of santos, colorful wooden images of saints and biblical stories used for prayer, was an important business there.
Nothing is known about the sculptor or group of sculptors known as Master of “La Merced.” The santos (carved wooden images of saints) in the Vidal collection attributed to this mysterious sculptor or school share a graceful form, dramatic gestures and poses, and compassionate facial expressions.<
Little is known about the artist Ramon Atiles-Perez, except that he was best known for painting portraits of Puerto Rican government officials.
Santeros were makers of santos, carved wooden images of saints used in prayers, and they were believed to be deeply mystical people inspired by God to carve their figures.