After youthful study with Spanish Baroque painter Alonso Cano, Pedro Atanasio Bocanegra absorbed many elements of Cano's art and followed in his master's footsteps to become a major painter in Granada. The archbishops of Granada valued Bocanegra above all other painters in the city and appointed him painter to the cathedral church. Later in his career, Bocanegra worked in Seville and Madrid, where he became court painter in 1676.
In 1670 Bocanegra painted the life of the Virgin for a church in Granada; these paintings displayed Cano's influence in their lively coloring and dynamic compositions, along with vigorous Baroque illusionistic effects. Bocanegra's late style still showed Cano's imprint, which he combined with his own softness of modeling and sentimentality. He painted mostly religious subjects and some portraits. Highly prolific and in demand, Bocanegra seems to have sacrificed quality for quantity.