Ecuadorian Dominican painter and social worker; b. Quito, c. 1555; d. there, Feb. 27, 1621. Bedón was the son of the Asturian Pedro Bedón and Juana Díaz de Pineda of Quito, daughter of the conquistador and scribe, Gonzalo Díaz de Pineda. Bedón studied philosophy in Quito under professors who had come from the University of San Gregorio in Valladolid. He studied theology at the University of Lima, where he learned the art of painting under the Jesuit brother Bernardo bitti. Returning to Quito in 1587, he taught philosophy and theology at the Dominican school. He devoted his free time to social service, through the Confraternity of the Rosary, which he organized with Spanish, Indian, and African American members. In addition, he founded a school of painting for the Indians, whom he put to work making copies of choral books with beautiful initial letters. He raised the question of the legality of the sales taxes and as a result was forced to go to Bogotá and soon afterward to Tunja. In both cities he left examples of his artistic skill. At Bogotá he held the chair of theology. In 1596 he returned to Quito, where he resumed his scholarly career and his social apostolate. He founded the convent of Riobamba and of La Recoleta in Quito, and one in Ibarra. Elected provincial, he traveled about the cities of the audiencia, examining not only the religious establishments but also the situation of the Indians. On behalf of the Indians, he negotiated with the authorities with a zeal worthy of las casas. Bedón is one of the most important representatives of Ecuadorian culture and of the social apostolate. He is considered the father of painting in Quito.
Bibliography: j. m. vargas, "El venerable padre maestro fray Pedro Bedón, O.P.: Su vida, sus escritos," El Oriente Dominicano 8 (1935) 115–117.
[j. m. vargas]