Juan de Pareja

Spanish painter (1606-1670)

Juan de Pareja was a Spanish painter. He was born near Málaga in 1606 or 1610 and died 1670 in Madrid.[1] De Pareja was a slave. He is known mostly as a member of the household and workshop of painter Diego Velázquez. Velázquez freed him in 1650. His 1661 work The Calling of Saint Matthew (sometimes also referred to as The Vocation of Saint Matthew) is on display at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain.

Juan de Pareja, by Diego Velázquez, 1650
The Vocation of St. Matthew

Owning slaves to help with the household and workshop seems to have been common amongst Spanish painters of the time. Francisco Pacheco, the teacher of Velázquez owned a Turkish slave. Francisco López Caro, another pupil of Pacheco, owned a black slave.

Pareja became Velazquez's assistant sometime after the master returned to Madrid from his first trip to Italy in January 1631. After the death of Velazquez in 1660. Pareja became an assistant to painter Juan del Mazo.[2]


  1. William Stirling Maxwell (1848). Annals of the artists of Spain, Volume 2. J. Ollivier.
  2. "The Crisis". The New Crisis. The Crisis Publishing Company, Inc: 50. February 1980. ISSN 0011-1422.