Bernardo Miera y Pacheco

Type
Individual
Role
Artist
Identifier
MierayPachecoBernardo
Lifespan
circa 1713 – 1785
Functions, Occupations, and Activities
>Santero, cartographer
Medium
Wood;Ink;Paper
Biography
Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco (4 August 1713 – 4 to 11 April 1785) was "perhaps the most prolific and important cartographer of New Spain" as well as an artist, particularly as a Santero (wood-carver of religious images). He has been called a polymath, being "proficient in astronomy, cartography, mathematics, geography, geology, geometry, military tactics, commerce, husbandry, oenology, metallurgy, languages, iconology, iconography, liturgy, painting, sculpture and drawing." Miera was born in the Valle de Carriedo of Cantabria Spain. The son of a captain of the Cantabrian Cavalry, he was trained as a military engineer...Like many others, he emigrated to New Spain (in North and Central America). In 1741, he married Maria Estefania Domínguez de Mendoza in Chihuahua. They would have two sons, Anacléto (Cléto) and Manuel. In 1743, the family settled in El Paso...A man of many talents, he was variously a merchant, a debt collector, a rancher and a military officer... In 1747, Captain Miera led a military detachment accompanying Padre Juan Menchero on the latter's attempt to convert the Navajo and resettle them around Mount Taylor...Though Menchero was unsuccessful, Miera produced the first map of the territory they traversed. In 1749, he mapped the Rio Grande from El Paso downstream to its junction with the Rio Conchos...He was also a painter and carver. Some of his works survive in churches and museums; the Church of Cristo Rey in Santa Fe has "his masterpiece, the Castrense altar screen." In 1754 or 1756, he moved his family to Santa Fe. He was appointed alcalde of the pueblos of Pecos and Galisteo and participated in three campaigns against the Comanches...Miera was granted a league of land (about 4428 acres or 1792 hectares) around Ceboletta, which was subsequently reduced to 4107 acres or 1662 hectares...In 1779, Miera accompanied Governor of New Mexico Juan Bautista de Anza on a punitive expedition against the Comanches, who had been raiding Taos. As a result, he drew perhaps his last map, covering an area centered on the Rio Grande from Santa Fe up to the Arkansas River. On 4 or 11 April 1785, Bernardo de Miera y Pacheco died in Santa Fe. [Retrieved on 10/4/2017 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernardo_de_Miera_y_Pacheco] [See also: http://newmexicohistory.org/people/bernardo-de-miera-y-pacheco]
Geographic names
Santa Fe
Related person/organization
Irene Lopez (is ancestor of)