Portrait of Madam Candelaria


William Henry Huddle ( American, 1847 - 1892 )

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General Description

After moving to Texas in 1876, William Henry Huddle based much of his work on the state's history and politics. Starting in 1885, the artist focused on completing a commission for portraits of Texas presidents and governors to be displayed in the state Capitol. His depiction of Andrea Castañón Villanueva, commonly known as Madam Candelaria, was completed in 1891, the year before his death and in the midst of his efforts to record the likenesses of pivotal figures in the state's history.

This work depicts a woman known to have nursed smallpox victims, aided the poor, and given money to travelers stranded in San Antonio. Though Madam Candelaria was not a statesman or war hero, Huddle's portrait of the aged philanthropist conveys his deep respect for her contributions to the residents of Texas.

Excerpt from

Emily Schiller, DMA label text, 2017

Web Resources

  • Andrea Castañón Villanueva, Biography
    Read a biography of Andrea Castañón Villanueva, also known as Madam Candelaria, at the Texas State Historical Association website.

  • The Portal to Texas History
    View a portrait photograph of Madam Candelaria taken by Ernst Wilhelm Raba.

  • The Alamo
    Watch these brief videos at the History Channel website to learn more about the Battle of the Alamo.