Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


History of Art


This project is an in-depth study of Cristóbal de Villalpando’s cycle of paintings depicting the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, commissioned in 1691 for the Franciscan Convent in Antigua, Guatemala. This seminal group has not been the subject of a focused study since 1986 and the sources of its unique iconography, as well as its impact on later depictions of this saint’s life in New Spain, have never been fully explored. In a larger context, examining the scenes illustrated in Villalpando’s series, which were likely selected under the guidance of his Franciscan patrons, tells us something about the Franciscans conception of their mission in the Spanish colonies. I posit that these works offered the Franciscan brothers in Antigua a carefully constructed visual model of their founder’s life, which they could aspire to imitate and which reinforced the importance of their order’s work in the Americas.