'How to look at a Mexican Old Master'

September 26 2017

Image of 'How to look at a Mexican Old Master'

Picture: via Apollo, Self-Portrait (detail), (1719), Juan Rodriguez Juárez

Latin American 'old' art has been paid scant attention by arthistorians in the 20th Century, but, in Apollo, Eduardo de Jesus Douglas says the art of the period is rich in meaning:

The interpretation of images in the early modern Iberian world poses a particularly complex challenge to scholars and curators. Spanish and Portuguese ships, merchants, soldiers, missionaries, and colonists sailed from Europe to Africa to America to Asia and back, creating arguably the first global exchange of commerce and culture in human history. Viceregal America, where the ‘four continents’ came together, poses a further series of problems. Here after one generation, the colonist – as a result of being born on American soil – became the colonised. Yet, in theory (if not always in practice), they enjoyed prerogatives unavailable to the indigenous, African, Asian, and mixed-race subjects of the Spanish and Portuguese crowns.

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