PACHECO, Francisco
(b. 1564, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, d. 1644, Sevilla)


Spanish painter, teacher, and scholar, active in Seville. Although an undistinguished artist himself, he is remembered as the teacher of both Diego Velázquez and Alonso Cano and as the author of Arte de la pintura (1649), a treatise on the art of painting that is the most important document for the study of 17th-century Spanish art.

He was a man of great culture, and his house was the focus of Seville's artistic life. As a painter, he worked in a stiff academic style, though his portraits are fresher than his religious works. He was an outstanding teacher, however, for he was sympathetic to the more naturalistic style that was then developing. and he was generous enough in spirit to acknowledge openly that his greatest pupil, Velázquez (who became his son-in-law in 1618) was a much better painter than himself. Alonso Cano was his other outstanding pupil, and Pacheco often collaborated with the great sculptor Montañés, painting his wooden figures.

In 1649 his book Arte de la pintura (The Art of Painting) was posthumously published; part theoretical, part biographical, this is a major source of information for the period. Pacheco was an official art censor to the Inquisition and the highly detailed iconographical prescriptions in his book were often strictly adhered to by contemporary artists.