I, Juan de Pareja

I, Juan de Pareja

by Elizabeth Borton De Trevino
4.4 9

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Overview

I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton De Trevino

When the great Velázquez was painting his masterpieces at the Spanish court in the seventeenth century, his colors were expertly mixed and his canvases carefully prepared by his slave, Juan de Pareja. In a vibrant novel which depicts both the beauty and the cruelty of the time and place, Elizabeth Borton de Treviño tells the story of Juan, who was born a slave and died an accomplished and respected artist.

Upon the death of his indulgent mistress in Seville, Juan de Pareja was uprooted from the only home he had known and placed in the charge of a vicious gypsy muleteer to be sent north to his mistress's nephew and heir, Diego Velázquez, who recognized at once the intelligence and gentle breeding which were to make Juan his indispensable assistant and companion—and his lifelong friend.

Through Juan's eyes the reader sees Velázquez's delightful family, his working habits and the character of the man, his relations with the shy yet devoted King Philip IV and with his fellow painters, Rubens and Murillo, the climate and customs of Spanish court life. When Velázquez discovers that he and Juan share a love for the art which is his very life, the painter proves his friendship in the most incredible fashion, for in those days it was forbidden by law for slaves to learn or practice the arts. Through the hardships of voyages to Italy, through the illnesses of Velázquez, Juan de Pareja loyally serves until the death of the painter in 1660.

I, Juan de Pareja is the winner of the 1966 Newbery Medal.

Latino Interest.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312380052
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 04/29/2008
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 130,896
Product dimensions: 7.62(w) x 5.12(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile: 1100L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Elizabeth Borton de Treviño (1904-2000) was the highly acclaimed author of many books for young people. Born in California, it was her move to Mexico in the 1930s that inspired many of her books, including El Güero: A True Adventure Story and Leona: A Love Story. She won the Newbery Medal in 1966 for I, Juan de Pareja.

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I, Juan de Pareja 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Ifetayo_Kitwala More than 1 year ago
I, Juan de Pareja is a heartfelt book that shows that someone, even though low in ranking, can turn out to be something more. Once the main character, Juan, finds out what he has to do, he does everything in his power to fulfill it. Juan has to travel from place to place with an interesting master. This one in particular is not like normal slave owners. Even though some parts are abrupt, blunt, and harsh, this unforgettable book gets an outstanding 5/5 stars. I would recommend it to middle and highschool, most definitely. Adults can even learn something out of this well written book. Though mature, children, like me, will fall in love with this book.
teddy_bears_squishy More than 1 year ago
The novel "I, Juan de Pareja" is about a half-African slave born into slavery. His mother Zulema, dies when he is five, and he does not know who his father is, so he is orphaned. He serves his mothers master Basilio and mistress Emilia, but soon both of them are killed by a plague. Juan is also affected by it, but he somehow survives and is brought to Madrid to his former mistress' nephew, Diego Rodrigeuz de Silvia y Velazquez, who is a reknowned painter. However, the man who brings him there is cruel to Juan, but when they reach Diego's house, Diego dismisses the man, Don Carmelo, because of his harsh treatment to Juan, and this is the first sign to Juan that Diego is a nice man. Diego has a wife, Juana de Miranda and two little girls, Fransica and Ignasia. However Juan is not required to help his mistress and the two toddlers much. His main job is to help his master with with his painting. Like prepairing the colours, washing the brushes etc. However, Juan learns to paint as well, but since slaves in Spain are not allowed to practice the arts, his master cannot teach him how to. Soon, two apprentices, Christobal and Alvaro join the household to learn from the Diego. Juan whose opinions do not differ from his master and his family's dislikes Christobal, but finds Alvaro pleasant enough. However , Christobal is a better painter than Alvaro. Some time later Diego recieves as message from the king of Spain, saying that he has been invited to paint his magesty's portrait. Thus he and his family are given permanent living quarters in the palace its self, so they move there along with Juan and the two apprentices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HomeSchoolBookReview More than 1 year ago
Set in seventeenth century Spain, this historical fiction book is based on the real lives of Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez, one of the greatest Spanish painters of his day, and his Negro slave Juan de Pereja, as told by Juan, who was born into slavery around 1600 and whose mother's masters were a merchant of Seville and the merchant's wife. Pareja's mother died when he was five. After the merchant and his wife died several years later, Juan was willed to the wife's nephew, Velazquez, who lived in Madrid. Even though Juan was still a slave, Velazquez was more like a friend and mentor to him. The book chronicles Pareja's relationship to his master, his master's wife, their children, the apprentices who came and went, and even the King who was a frequent patron. Juan learned how to paint from watching and copying Velazquez, but had to do it secretly because slaves were forbidden by law to practice the arts in Spain. Towards the end of the book, before Velazquez died, he freed Juan. In later life, Juan went on to become a well known painter in his own right. Trevino wrote, "Whenever one tells a story about personages who actually lived, it becomes necessary to hang many invented incidents, characters, and events upon the thin thread of truth which has come down to us. The threads of the lives of Velazquez and Pareja are weak and broken; very little, for certain, is known about them." This book won the Newbery Medal in 1966 and deservedly so. It is an excellent historical look into seventeenth century Spain at not only life in general but also the condition of slaves. The publisher's description reads, "Told through the eyes of Velazquez's slave and assistant, this vibrant novel depicts both the beauty and the cruelty of 17th century Spain and tells the story of Juan, who was born a slave and died a respected artist." There are a lot of references to Roman Catholic beliefs and practices, but historically this was part of seventeenth century life in Spain, and it also shows actual people for whom belief in God was a guiding influence in their attitudes and deeds. There is no bad language and very little else that would be objectionable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, I, Juan de Pareja was a very easy story to read. It was interesting and evenly paced. I would definitely recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Refreshing! Not appealing to the eye but, increadible story to get wayyy into. Recomendations galore!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this book! It is a perfect insight of the Renaissance. Great for a book report
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has a great insight of the Renaissance. You will like this book. I read it for a book report and and it's a great book to do it on.