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Painting in Latin America, 1550–1820

From Conquest to Independence

Luisa Elena Alcalá, Jonathan Brown


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Painting in Latin America, 1550–1820: From Conquest to Independence surveys the diverse styles, subjects, and iconography of painting in Latin America between the 16th and 19th centuries. While European art forms were widely disseminated, copied, and adapted throughout Latin America, colonial painting is not a derivative extension of Europe.  The ongoing debate over what to call it—mestizo, hybrid, creole, indo-hispanic, tequitqui—testifies to a fundamental yet unresolved question of identity.


Comparing and contrasting the Viceroyalties of New Spain, with its center in modern-day Mexico, and Peru, the authors explore the very different ways the two regions responded to the influence of the Europeans and their art.  A wide range of art and artists are considered, some for the first time.  Rich with new photography and primary research, this book delivers a wealth of new insight into the history of images and the history of art.

Praise For Painting in Latin America, 1550–1820: From Conquest to Independence

“It is a testament to Yale that they have embraced a colonial Latin American topic and the book is handsome with rich, high-quality colour reproductions. . . . Paintings in Latin America immediately becomes the authoritative work on the subject in English.”—Gauvin Alexander Bailey, Apollo
— Gauvin Alexander Bailey

“The eleven chapters in Painting in Latin America are thought provoking and largely original; additionally, the book’s bibliographic richness, frequent inclusion of little-studied artists and presentation of high quality images (many published for the first time) make it a truly rewarding study.”—Cristina Cruz Gonzalez, Burlington
— Cristina Cruz Gonzalez

Yale University Press, 9780300191011, 480pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

About the Author

Luisa Elena Alcala is a professor titular at the department of history and theory of art, Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. Jonathan Brown is Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts at New York University.