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San Miguel, Isidro de.

Parayso cultiuado de la mas senzilla prudencia: virtudes practicadas en la inocentissima vida del v. siervo de Dios y portentoso varon Fr. Sebastian de Aparicio, religioso lego de la Regular obseruancia de Nuestro P. S. Francisco, hijo de la santa prouincia de el santo euangelio de Mexico: dedicado a la sacra catholica, y real magestad de la reyna nuestra senora. Naples, Stamperia de Iuan Vernuccio y Nicolas Layno, 1695. RISERVATO/RESERVED

The first American charro
San Miguel, Isidro de.. Parayso cultiuado de la mas senzilla prudencia: virtudes practicadas en la inocentissima vida del v. siervo de Dios y portentoso varon Fr. Sebastian de Aparicio, religioso lego de la Regular obseruancia de Nuestro P. S. Francisco, hijo de la santa prouincia de el santo euangelio de Mexico: dedicado a la sacra catholica, y real magestad de la reyna nuestra senora.. Naples, Stamperia de Iuan Vernuccio y Nicolas Layno, 1695. RISERVATO/RESERVED

4° (215x159 mm). [28], 156, [26] pages. Engraved portrait of Sebastian de Aparicio by Jacques Blondeau. Woodcut capitals, head- and tailpieces. Contemporary vellum, over pasteboards. Some leaves uniformly browned, foxing, a light stain to the last leaves, two small holes in the upper blank margin throughout the entire volume and on the lower blank margin of the last leaf, not affecting the text, some small ink stains.

Provenance: ‘questo libro e? de Michele [...]' (ownership inscription on the front pastedown).

First edition of this biography of Sebastian de Aparicio (1502-1600), the eclectic Spanish colonialist, farmer and friar, famous for being the first American charro as well as one of the first landowners in Mexico to have ‘taught Indians on his hacienda near Puebla to tame and train horses' (K. Mullen Sads, Charreriìa Mexicana, p. 271).

Sebastian revolutionized agriculture in New Spain, being one of the first Spaniards to import plow farming and the use of carretas. Having landed in Veracruz in 1533, he gained his wealth by cultivating maize and wheat, introducing European methods for training cattle, and building Mexico's highway system. At the age of seventy-two, and shortly after the death of his second wife, he distributed his goods among the poor and received the religious habit in the convent of San Francisco in Mexico City. Sebastian died in 1600, at the extraordinary age of ninety-eight, as a candidate for sainthood. During the last ten years of his life several hundred claims of miracles were attributed to his intercession and the ‘Angel of Mexico' was beatified in 1789. The present work, written by Isidro de San Miguel, a Discalced friar in the Province of San Pedro de Alcàntara, was completed in the monastery of Santa Lucia al Monte in Naples and represents the third biography of Sebastian de Apariciol, as well as the earliest obtainable. The first biography of the friar, Vida y milagros del sancto confessor de Christo, Fr. Sebastiàn de Aparicio by Juan de Torquemada, was printed in 1602 and survives in a unique copy preserved in the Real Biblioteca del Palacio Real de Madrid. The second work dedicated to his life is titled Relaciòn auténtica sumaria de la vida, virtudes y maravillas del V. P. Fr. Sebastiàn de Aparicio and was composed in 1662 by Bartolome? de Letona but was printed only in 1947.

An extremely rare work, it has appeared on the auction market only once, in 1987 (Sotheby's London, April 23, lot 273), and is preserved in only four institutional libraries worldwide: the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana and the Library of the Universidad de Sevilla in Spain, and the Hesburgh Library of the University of Notre Dame and Stanford University Libraries in the United States.

K. Mullen Sads, Charrerìa Mexicana, Tucson-London 1991; M. Baex Hernandez, De los despojos corporales a la reliquia y su imagen: el caso angelopolitano del beato Sebastiàn de Aparicio. Ensayo académico para optar por el grado de Maestra en Historia del Arte, Universidad Nacional Autònoma de México, 2017.

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