Latin American Studies The Enlightenment and its Visual Manifestations in Spanish America
by
Daniela Bleichmar
  • LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 October 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0029

Introduction

The Spanish American Enlightenment is loosely dated as the period starting with Charles III’s accession to the Spanish throne in 1759 and concluding with the emergence of independence wars in 1810. During this period, Spanish American visual culture was extremely rich, varied, and significant in multiple contexts, including political, social, historical, cultural, and scientific. It is crucial to note that the Spanish American Enlightenment, particularly as manifested visually, was distinct from the European one and must be taken in its own terms, which will often have a decidedly baroque tinge for scholars of Europe. This is particularly the case given that baroque forms and genres coexisted with Enlightenment ones—for example, baroque crowned-nun portraits (see Gender) were commissioned and created at the same time and for the same audiences as Enlightenment casta paintings (see Depicting Race). Spanish American elites reconciled paintings that to modern eyes appear disparate. Traits that characterize visual culture in the Spanish American Enlightenment include the emergence of new institutional contexts for the production of art, most notably fine arts academies; the continued importance of visual statements within imperial administrative contexts; the creation of visual treatises and encyclopedias that pictorially documented Spanish American nature, territory, and peoples, often made within administrative contexts; the operation of numerous scientific expeditions that privileged the production of visual evidence; the emergence of antiquarianism based on the study of pre-Hispanic visual and material culture; an increasing tendency for visual statements to convey Creole patriotism in various settings, including local religious devotions, history painting, portraiture, and science; in architecture, a shift away from a churrigueresque (Spanish American baroque) to a neoclassical style; the growing presence of secular-themed visual culture despite the continued dominance of religious visual culture; and the involvement of visual culture in political unrest. Despite these general themes, attention to local conditions is of extreme importance because of the enormous expanse of the Spanish Americas and the multiplicity of settings for the production and consumption of visual statements—from opulent bustling urban centers such as Mexico City, Lima, and Manila to smaller provincial nodes such as Trujillo in Peru or Bogotá in New Granada, to borderlands and contact zones. Finally, it is worth noting that the visual manifestations of the Spanish American Enlightenment are less well known than warranted by the materials available for the study. This may be because scholars of the Spanish American Enlightenment have tended to privilege political, economic, and intellectual history topics such as the study of Bourbon political and economic reforms and the emergence of Creole patriotisms, while historians of Spanish American visual culture have tended to focus on 16th-century contacts between Spanish and Amerindian cultures and the transformation of the latter, as well as the emergence of visually spectacular Spanish American baroque art and architecture during the 1600s. New scholarship continues to refine our understanding of the visual culture of the Spanish American Enlightenment.

General Works

There is no single work providing an overview of visual culture in the Spanish Americas during the Enlightenment, but the works cited here provide partial introductions to the topic for Mexico and Peru, with contributions by many renowned specialists. Gonzalbo Aizpuru 2005 is a collection of essays focusing on the history of daily life in 18th-century Mexico; it is a portion of a five-part encyclopedic series that provides a comprehensive treatment of the topic from the pre-Columbian era to the 20th century. While its purview exceeds visual culture, many essays address it and make interesting connections to cultural, social, and political life. Mujica Pinilla, et al. 2006 is a lavishly illustrated collection of essays tracing some of the visual and cultural manifestations of the Peruvian transition from Creole viceroyalty to independent nation—though the word “Enlightenment” does not appear in the title, the volume focuses squarely on that phenomenon. The volume is part of the important collection Arte y Tesoros del Perú.

  • Gonzalbo Aizpuru, Pilar, ed. Historia de la vida cotidiana en México. Vol. 3, El siglo XVIII: Entre tradición y cambio. Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Many essays in this richly illustrated collection treat Enlightenment visual culture broadly construed, focusing on topics such as food, urban and rural life in various sites in New Spain, travel, the visual and material culture of elite households, and practices of justice, including public spectacles of punishment, clothing, and family life.

    Find this resource:

    • Mujica Pinilla, Ramón, David A. Brading, and Scarlett O’Phelan Godoy. Visión y símbolos: Del virreinato criollo a la República Peruana. Lima, Peru: Banco de Crédito, 2006.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Covering the period 1750–1850, contributors discuss changing understanding of patria (homeland), mestizo identity, the iconoclastic campaign of visitador (inspector) José Antonio de Areche, the rejection of baroque church interiors in favor of classicism in Lima, mythological motifs in southern Andean art, travelers and costumbrista depictions, and the development of caricature in Peru.

      Find this resource:

      Textbooks and Reference Works

      There are no textbooks or reference works devoted to visual culture in the Spanish American Enlightenment, since English- and Spanish-language publications on the art and visual culture of the Spanish Americas alike tend to provide overviews of the entire viceregal period (1492–c. 1820). Some of these works are organized thematically rather than chronologically, and as a result, information on the Enlightenment needs to be mined through selective reading of various sections. Bailey 2005 and Donahue-Wallace 2008 are English-language textbooks providing comprehensive introductions to the topic, aimed at undergraduate audiences or the interested general reader. These publications attest to the recent rise of college courses on colonial Latin American art and visual culture. Bailey is organized thematically around the manufacture and consumption of art; the themes emphasize the diversity and mixing of traditions from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa to produce unique Spanish American forms. The volume is entirely in color, and the number and quality of the illustrations as well as the range of works represented make it a helpful visual primer, as well as the most attractive of these works. Donahue-Wallace is organized chronologically and by medium, to emphasize issues of production, function, and reception particular to each medium. Its scope is also narrower, covering fewer works than Bailey but providing lengthy and detailed analyses of each in terms of their materials, labor, forms, iconography, function, and reception. The chronological arrangement and narrower focus make Donahue-Wallace more easily employed in the classroom than Bailey. Mundy and Leibsohn 2010 is a multimedia companion to the online resource by the same authors: Vistas. Both reference works are extremely useful in the classroom. Toussaint 1967 is the earliest survey of Mexican viceregal art. Published originally in Spanish in 1948 by the founding father of colonial Mexican art history, it remains useful and interesting despite being methodologically and historiographically outdated. Gutiérrez 1995 and Gutiérrez 1997 bring together essays by leading Hispanophone scholars to provide general overviews of painting, sculpture, decorative arts, architecture, and urban planning in viceregal Spanish America. Many of the contributions catalogue major artists and their works.

      • Bailey, Gauvin Alexander. Art of Colonial Latin America. New York: Phaidon, 2005.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Beautifully illustrated and ambitious in its scope and historiographical stance, covering an impressive number of sources and issues. Emphasizes the intermixing and transformation of European, Amerindian, Asian, and North African traditions to produce original and cosmopolitan visual statements unique to the Spanish Americas.

        Find this resource:

        • Donahue-Wallace, Kelly. Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521–1821. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Clearly written, with detailed analyses of carefully chosen examples. Useful in the classroom. Treats architecture and sculpture in the early missions, painting in 16th-century New Spain and Peru, colonial cities, religious arts and architecture, secular painting, and art and architecture in the Enlightenment (pp. 224–242).

          Find this resource:

          • Gutiérrez, Ramón, ed. Pintura, escultura y artes útiles en Iberoamérica: 1500–1825. Madrid: Cátedra, 1995.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            A collection of essays by leading Hispanophone scholars. An introductory section on the social history of art in Spanish America is followed by sections on painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. Chapters are arranged chronologically and geographically. Focus on major artists and works. Though amply illustrated in black and white, the images are not integrated into the text.

            Find this resource:

            • Gutiérrez, Ramón, ed. Arquitectura y urbanismo en Iberoamérica. Madrid: Cátedra, 1997.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              A counterpart to the earlier collection by the same editor, dedicated to architecture and urban planning in the Spanish Americas.

              Find this resource:

              • Mundy, Barbara, and Dana Leibsohn. Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America. DVD. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                A DVD companion expanding on the open-access website Vistas. Provides essays, comparisons, slideshows, timeline, primary documents, and an annotated collection of high-resolution images of more than three hundred works of art and architecture. Extremely useful for teaching. In English and Spanish.

                Find this resource:

                • Toussaint, Manuel. Colonial Art in Mexico. Translated and edited by Elizabeth Wilder Weismann. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  The first comprehensive survey of colonial Mexican art, with two sections on the period 1730–1821. Though outdated methodologically and historiographically (e.g., organized according to European stylistic categories such as gothic and baroque), remains erudite and informative. Spanish edition available as Arte colonial en México (Mexico City: UNAM, 1990), first published 1948.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Vistas: Visual Culture in Spanish America.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    A collection of visual works from the Spanish Americas, 1400s to the present, with an emphasis on the colonial period. Includes more than one hundred color images, interpretive essays, a searchable bibliography, a glossary, and links. Extremely useful for teaching. In English and Spanish. Open access. A companion DVD expands the contents (see Mundy and Leibsohn 2010).

                    Find this resource:

                    Exhibition Catalogues

                    A spate of important exhibitions of Spanish American art in major US and international museums since the 1990s has yielded a corpus of exhibition catalogues that serve as indispensable pictorial repertoires, provide a wealth of information on hundreds of specific works through catalogue entries, and also include historiographically and methodologically significant essays by leading art historians, historians, and curators. Traditionally, monographs and essay collections tend to be deemed of greater scholarly value than exhibition catalogues, which are often considered thinner due to their focus on detailed analyses of single objects rather than on larger and more-ambitious stories. However, in the study of Spanish American art and visual culture, exhibition catalogues have emerged as sources of innovative and agenda-setting scholarship. The majority of these catalogues have focused on “high” art, especially painting, though some provide important contributions to the study of visual and material culture. Fane 1996 and Rishel 2006 are encyclopedic in terms of geography, chronology, and media. The latter is the most comprehensive and opulent survey of Spanish American art and visual culture. Pierce 2004 focuses on Mexico; Phipps, et al. 2004 and Stratton-Pruitt 2006, on the Andes; Ishikawa 2004, on the imperial context; and Rivero Borrell Miranda 2002, on a single Mexican collection. Benson 2004 examines portraits; Stratton-Pruitt 2006, religious art; and Phipps, et al. 2004, textiles and silverwork.

                    • Benson, Elizabeth P. Retratos: 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      A broad-ranging overview of portraiture in Latin America, from the pre-Columbian to the contemporary. Section 3 addresses the viceregal era, with many works from the 18th century.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Fane, Diana, ed. Converging Cultures: Art and Identity in Spanish America. New York: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        Catalogue of a groundbreaking show at the Brooklyn Museum that marked a watershed for the exhibition and study of Spanish American art in the United States, as well as a rising interest in issues of identity and the persistence and transformation of both Amerindian and European traditions. Unfortunately, the majority of the reproductions are in black and white.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Ishikawa, Chiyo, ed. Spain in the Age of Exploration, 1492–1819. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          Focusing on Spanish exploration, connects art and visual culture to science, governance, and the larger imperial context. Less directly focused on the Spanish Americas than the other works in this section, but nevertheless useful for thinking transatlantically.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Pierce, Donna, ed. Painting a New World: Mexican Art and Life, 1521–1821. Denver, CO: Frederick and Jan Mayer Center for Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial Art, Denver Art Museum, 2004.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            Overview of Mexican colonial painting, in particular in relation to Spanish painting, daily life in New Spain, and New Spain as a crossroads between Asia and Europe.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Phipps, Elena, Johanna Hecht, and Cristina Esteras Martín, eds. The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork, 1530–1830. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              While art history has traditionally privileged painting as a medium, this catalogue examines two of the richest visual forms in the colonial Andes—textiles and silverwork—with particular interest in the subsistence and transformation of indigenous culture during the colonial period.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Rivero Borrell Miranda, Héctor. The Grandeur of Viceregal Mexico: Treasures from the Museo Franz Mayer. La grandeza del México virreinal: Tesoros del Museo Franz Mayer. Houston, TX: Museum of Fine Arts, 2002.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Bilingual publication highlighting choice objects from the Franz Mayer Museum, an important Mexico City collection of viceregal art. Of special interest in terms of Enlightenment visual culture is the essay by Juana Gutiérrez Haces, “The Eighteenth Century: A Changing Kingdom and Artistic Style,” pp. 45–68.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Rishel, Joseph, ed. The Arts in Latin America, 1492–1820. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Spectacular publication connected to the largest and most ambitious exhibition of Latin American colonial art to date (2011), including Brazil. Contains more than three hundred entries and seventeen essays by international scholars. Seeks to expand the canon in terms of media that are included and of attention to the presence and interaction of European, American, Asian, and African traditions.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Stratton-Pruitt, Suzanne, ed. The Virgin, Saints, and Angels: South American Paintings 1600–1825, from the Thoma Collection. Milan: Skira in association with Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, 2006.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    Scholarly essays on religion and visual culture in the colonial Andes, and catalogue entries documenting religious paintings from an important collection.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    Biographical Dictionaries

                                    The following biographical dictionaries are resources for identifying artists in the Spanish Americas. Vargas Ugarte 1947 and Harth Terré 1945 provide information about viceregal Peru, while Tovar de Teresa 1995–1997 and González Franco, et al. 1994–1995 address New Spain.

                                    • González Franco, Glorinela, María del Carmen Olvera Calvo, and Ana Eugenia Reyes Cabañas. Artistas y artesanos a través de fuentes documentales. 2 vols. Mexico City: INAH, 1994–1995.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Dictionary of documentation held in multiple Mexican archives, pertaining to artists and artisans working from the 16th to 19th centuries. Organized biographically, with indices that permit searching by trade, date, category, location, or medium.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Harth Terré, Emilio. Artífices en el virreinato del Perú. Lima, Peru: Torres Aguirre, 1945.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Biographical study of colonial Peruvian artists.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Tovar de Teresa, Guillermo. Repertorio de artistas en México: Artes plásticas y decorativas. 3 vols. Mexico City: Bancomer, 1995–1997.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          A discriminating biographical dictionary of about six hundred artists who worked in Mexico from the colonial period to the 20th century. Illustrated with color plates. The leading resource of its kind.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Vargas Ugarte, Rubén. Ensayo de un diccionario de artífices coloniales de la América meridional. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Talleres Gráficos A. Baiocco & Cía., 1947.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Dated and incomplete but still-useful biographical dictionary of artisans in Central and South America during the viceregal period, with the vast majority of entries pertaining to Peru.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            Journals

                                            While there is no single journal dedicated to visual culture in the Spanish American Enlightenment, the following periodicals are useful for research on the subject—both for their essays and book reviews. Historical journals include the Colonial Latin American Review (the premier publication for the area and period), the Colonial Latin American Historical Review, and the Hispanic American Historical Review (not limited to the viceregal period). The Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, published by the preeminent Mexican art historical research institution, is the most useful art historical journal. Also useful for art historical studies and archaeological and anthropological approaches is RES, which includes frequent contributions on Latin America. Dieciocho and Eighteenth-Century Studies are both devoted to the study of the 18th century, though the former is a much better resource for the Hispanic world than the latter. Latin American Research Review has occasional contributions on the Enlightenment.

                                            Databases

                                            Given the lack of dedicated journals to the visual Enlightenment in the Spanish Americas, article databases are necessary tools for locating research in the area. Handbook of Latin American Studies is the most comprehensive and directly useful, though Hispanic-American Periodicals Index and CLASE are also useful. Sumarios ISOC and Redalyc offer full-text access to articles published in Spanish and Latin American journals.

                                            Academies as New Institutional Contexts for Art Production

                                            A distinguishing feature of Spanish American visual culture during the Enlightenment was the rise of the art academy as an institution for the education of artists, particularly in Mexico City. There, the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts started operating in 1781, received official recognition two years later, and was fully functional by 1785. Fine arts academies institutionalized artistic training and fostered certain media, styles, and genres—such as history painting, public sculpture, and a neoclassical style—through both education and the establishment of competitions and prizes. Two Enlightenment goals of academic art were the pursuit of patriotic agendas and the desire to connect art to utility through its application in industry, particularly in the case of drawing. Charlot 1962 and Brown 1976 are the two classic studies of the foundation and operation of the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City, still valuable though by now dated. Brown provides a lengthier and more detailed account of the Academy’s Enlightenment origins and operation, while Charlot focuses to a greater degree on the independent period. Báez Macías 2009 provides an updated and thoroughly researched history of the academy. Tolsá 1998 reproduces works from the period and examines the academy’s foundation as well as early members. Cuadriello 2001 contextualizes the academy within a Creole patriotic Enlightenment in the years leading up to the independence war. In light of this Creole component, it is important to note that although San Carlos was connected in both practice and ideology to the Enlightenment and the Bourbon reforms, the academic impulse was not a Spanish imposition. Far from it, groups of painters in Mexico City had constituted informal academies and petitioned for recognition for more than half a century before the foundation of San Carlos. Ramírez Montes 2001 examines a 1753 petition to establish a painting academy in Mexico City, while Deans-Smith 2007 addresses the social history of art production in colonial Mexico through an analysis of the painters’ guild before the creation of San Carlos, in particular with attention to race and social status.

                                            • Báez Macías, Eduardo. Historia de la Escuela Nacional de Bella Artes: Antigua Academia de San Carlos, 1781–1910. Mexico City: UNAM, 2009.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              The most up-to-date and thoroughly researched history of the fine arts academy in Mexico City, with rich information about its establishment, context, curricula, and academic and administrative agendas and organization.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Brown, Thomas Alan. La Academia de San Carlos de la Nueva España. 2 vols. Translated by María Emilia Martínez Negrete Deffis. Mexico City: Secretaría de Educación Pública, 1976.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                The most detailed existing study of San Carlos, tracing its creation, the details of its operation and curriculum, and its main figures and their agendas.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Charlot, Jean. Mexican Art and the Academy of San Carlos 1785–1915. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1962.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  A study of the academy’s role in art education and the creation of a national art, particularly in the 19th century. Examines the teaching and importance of drawing, and the competition between national and foreign interests and figures.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Cuadriello, Jaime. “Los umbrales de la nación y la modernidad de sus artes: Criollismo, ilustración y academia.” In Hacia otra historia del arte en México: De la estructuración colonial a la exigencia nacional (1780–1860). Edited by Esther Acevedo, 17–35. Mexico City: CONACULTA, 2001.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Discusses San Carlos in the context of the Enlightenment, Creole patriotism, and Mexican politics immediately preceding independence.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    • Deans-Smith, Susan. “‘This Noble and Illustrious Art’: Painters and the Politics of Guild Reform in Early Modern Mexico City, 1674–1768.” In Mexican Soundings: Essays in Honour of David A. Brading. Edited by Susan Deans-Smith and Eric van Young, 67–98. London: Institute for the Study of the Americas, 2007.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Examines how painters in colonial Mexico framed their interests and problems, how they attempted to address them, and where they succeeded and failed. This study of the painters’ guild allows the author to pursue larger questions about the construction of race and status among artisans in early modern Mexico.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Ramírez Montes, Mina. “En defensa de la pintura: Ciudad de México, 1753.” Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas 23.78 (Spring 2001): 103–128.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Discusses the attempt to establish a painting academy in Mexico City in 1753.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Tolsá, Manuel. Nostalgia de lo “antiguo” y arte ilustrado México-Valencia. Mexico City and Valencia: UNAM and Pentagraf, 1998.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Catalogue of an exhibition held in Mexico City and Valencia to celebrate the Valencian sculptor Manuel Tolsá, an important figure at San Carlos and in the Enlightenment redesign of Mexico City. Includes essays in Spanish and English on the foundation of San Carlos, its early years, and its artists.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          Visual Culture and Imperial Administration

                                                          The interest in pictorial sources as instruments for imperial administration dates back to the 16th century but continued if not intensified in the Enlightenment. Cline 1964–1976 consists of a series of studies on the relaciones geográficas, questionnaires distributed throughout Mexico to local governors and administrators periodically from 1577 until the late 18th century, which in addition to questions about geography, human population, governance, and natural resources included requests for maps. Solano 1988 provides the text of the multiple versions of these questionnaires over time. Penhos 2005 is a monograph analyzing the connections between visual culture, the production of knowledge, and imperial control over populations and territories in Argentina during the Enlightenment.

                                                          • Cline, Howard F., ed. “Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources.” Vols. 12–15 of the Handbook of Middle American Indians. Edited by Robert Wauschope. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964–1976.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Three volumes of this indispensable sixteen-volume reference work are dedicated to ethnohistorical sources, with essays tracing the relaciones geográficas over time. See especially pp. 183–542.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Penhos, Marta. Ver, conocer, dominar: Imágenes de Sudamérica a fines del siglo XVIII. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Siglo Veintiuno, 2005.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Study of the relationship between seeing, knowing, and ruling in Enlightenment South America through analyses of pictorial and textual documents related to the military campaign of Gerónimo Matorras in the Argentina Chaco in 1774, the travels of naturalist Félix de Azara 1782–1801, and the Malaspina scientific expedition (1789–1794).

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Solano, Francisco de, ed. Cuestionarios para la formación de las Relaciones Geográficas de Indias, Siglos XVI–XIX. Madrid: CSIC, 1988.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Reproduces the text of the various relaciones geográficas questionnaires distributed to local viceregal administrators from the 16th to 19th centuries.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                Depicting Race

                                                                One of the more fruitful avenues for recent research on Spanish American visual culture has been the study of the numerous and powerful depictions of race that emerged in the early 1700s and flourished during the Enlightenment. Casta paintings—pictorial series illustrating interracial marriages with their offspring, produced overwhelmingly in New Spain, with one known case from Peru—have received particular attention. García Sáiz 1989 is the first study of the genre from a contemporary historical perspective, while Katzew 1996 marks the beginning of scholarly attention to the genre among Anglophone scholars. They mark a shift from older interpretations of the genre as transparent ethnographic records. Katzew 2004 is considered the best and most thorough monograph on the subject, providing the most detailed art historical analysis as well as an authoritative overview of the genre and the most-comprehensive and striking color reproductions of numerous works from the genre. Carrera 2003 provides a social history of depictions of racialized bodies in 18th-century Mexico, combining analyses of portraits and casta paintings with a study of legal, literary, and religious documents. Deans-Smith 2005 provides a helpful look at 18th-century reactions to casta paintings by examining reactions of collectors and critics at the time. Estenssoro, et al. 1999 and Romero de Tejada 2003 treat the one known Peruvian example of the genre, commissioned by Viceroy Manuel Amat. These two publications are linked to two exhibitions of the same paintings, in Lima and Madrid, respectively, and include different scholarly essays.

                                                                • Carrera, Magali. Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  An examination of portraits, casta paintings, and legal, literary, and religious documents from 18th-century New Spain, interpreted as imperial attempts to categorize and control colonial subjects through the increasing social regulation of racialized bodies, based on the illusory fantasy that race was unambiguous, visible, and subject to rigid order.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Deans-Smith, Susan. “Creating the Colonial Subject: Casta Paintings, Collectors, and Critics in Eighteenth-Century Mexico and Spain.” Colonial Latin American Review 14.2 (December 2005): 169–204.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/10609160500314980Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    A rare and valuable look at 18th-century reactions to casta paintings, based on the works, their collectors, and reactions from viewers at the time.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    • Estenssoro, Juan Carlos, Pilar Romero de Tejada, Luis Eduardo Wuffarden and Natalia Majluf. Los cuadros del mestizaje del Virrey Amat. Lima, Peru: Museo de Arte de Lima, 1999.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Catalogue of Lima exhibition of the one known example of Peruvian casta paintings, the cuadros de mestizaje (miscegenation paintings) commissioned by Viceroy Manuel Amat. Essays on 18th-century painting in Lima, mestizaje in colonial Peru.

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • García Sáiz, María Concepción. Las castas mexicanas: Un género pictórico americano. Mexico City: Olivetti, 1989.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        An early study of the genre from a contemporary historical perspective. Though now in part superseded by later scholarship that it helped spur, it remains a reference point.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Katzew, Ilona, ed. New World Orders: Casta Painting and Colonial Latin America. New York: Americas Society, 1996.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          A useful collection of essays that mark the explosion of interest in this genre in Anglophone academia, with contributions by the top scholars on the question.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Katzew, Ilona. Casta Painting: Images of Race in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            The leading study on casta painting. Traces the development of the genre in Mexico, its changes over the 18th century, and its connections to ideas about race and social order, Enlightenment taxonomy and natural history, and curiosity, among others. Lavishly illustrated with gorgeous color reproductions.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Romero de Tejada, Pilar, ed. Frutas y castas ilustradas. Madrid: Museo Nacional de Antropología/Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte, 2003.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Catalogue of a Madrid exhibition of the one known example of Peruvian casta paintings, the cuadros de mestizaje (miscegenation paintings) commissioned by Viceroy Manuel Amat. Reproduces the works, compares them to the series commissioned by Cardinal Lorenzana, and provides scholarly essays setting them in Enlightenment context.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              Enlightenment Pictorial Treatises and Encyclopedias

                                                                              The Spanish American Enlightenment produced numerous pictorial treatises and encyclopedias, demonstrating the importance of visual culture for collecting information and for articulating comprehensive statements regarding knowledge of the natural and human worlds. Many of these sources were created expressly for peninsular viewers and shipped to Spain. They often provide taxonomies—scientific or lay—of human types, plants, and animals, reflecting the widespread Enlightenment desire to catalogue and order as it was manifested in local contexts. The existing sources are so numerous that it would be impossible to cite them all, but the facsimiles and studies below are representative of the larger corpus and offer some of its highlights. Martínez Compañón 1978–1994 is a facsimile of the collection of almost 1,400 watercolors commissioned in the 1780s by the Spanish bishop of Trujillo, Peru, to document the area’s natural history and human population. The edition also includes scholarly studies of the work. Macera, et al. 1997 is the most useful source on this pictorial encyclopedia, its patron, and the context in which it was produced. Ribera 1989 is a facsimile of two collections of drawings of the Amerindian inhabitants, animals, and plants of the region of Moxos, in the Viceroyalty of Peru. These works were commissioned by a local governor for remittance to Spain and drawn between 1786 and 1794. The similarities between Martínez Compañón’s and Ribera’s projects further demonstrate the importance of visual evidence in imperial and administrative contexts. Katzew 2006 provides a facsimile of a Mexican illustrated manuscript depicting human types, their interbreeding to produce castas, and some local views of New Spain that include fruits, military men, genre scenes, and town views. Flora de la Real Expedición Botánica, Ruiz and Pavón 1995, and Tafalla 1989–1991 are modern facsimile editions of some of the botanical atlases (of drawings or prints) produced by numerous Enlightenment scientific expeditions throughout the Hispanic empire (see Scientific Expeditions). All three of these publications include scholarly essays.

                                                                              • Flora de la Real Expedición Botánica del Nuevo Reino de Granada (1783–1816). 50 vols. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica, 1954–.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                A multivolume pictorial botanical atlas of the flora of New Granada. It makes available in publication for the first time the corpus produced by a large team of artists working over three decades in the most ambitious Enlightenment attempt by an expedition anywhere in the world to visualize a region’s flora.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Una visión del México del siglo de las luces: La codificación de Joaquín Antonio de Basarás. Mexico City: Landucci, 2006.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Facsimile and translation of an 18th-century Mexican illustrated book manuscript that offers a taxonomy of social types in New Spain, as well as depictions of local fruits, genre scenes, sites, and customs. With a scholarly introduction by one of the leading authorities on Mexican Enlightenment art (see Depicting Race).

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Macera, Pablo, Arturo Jiménez Borja, and Irma Franke. Trujillo del Perú. Baltazar Jaime Martínez Compañón: Acuarelas, siglo XVIII. Lima, Peru: Fundación del Banco Continental, 1997.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    The most useful study on Martínez Compañón’s Enlightenment pictorial encyclopedia of the natural history, human population, and antiquities of the region of Trujillo in Peru, a work consisting of almost 1,400 watercolors bound in nine volumes.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Martínez Compañón, Baltasar Jaime. Trujillo del Perú en el siglo XVIII[ca. 1779–1789]. Facsimiles, 9 vols.; appendix, 3 vols. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispánica del Centro Iberoamericano de Cooperación, 1978–1994.

                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      A facsimile edition of Martínez Compañón’s Enlightenment pictorial encyclopedia of the natural history, human population, and antiquities of Trujillo, Peru, a work comprising almost 1,400 watercolors bound in nine volumes. The scholarly apparatus in the three-volume appendix is more descriptive than analytical. The originals are held in Madrid’s Real Biblioteca, and online reproductions are available through the Biblioteca Digital Cervantes.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Ribera, Lázaro de. Moxos: descripciones exactas e historia fiel de los indios, animales y plantas de la provincia de Moxos en el Virreinato del Perú por Lázaro de Ribera, 1786–1794. Facsimile ed. Edited by Mercedes Palau and Blanca Sáiz. Madrid: Ediciones El Viso, 1989.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Facsimile of two sets of pencil and watercolor drawings depicting the Amerindian population, animals, and plants of the region of Moxos, commissioned by its governor for Spanish imperial viewers.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • Ruiz, Hipólito, and José Pavón. Flora Peruviana et Chilensis. 3 vols. Facsimile ed. Madrid: CSIC, 1995.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Facsimile of a three-volume flora of Chile and Peru, originally published 1798–1802 based on the authors’ travels through the region in 1777–1788 as leaders of a royal scientific expedition. Theirs was the only Spanish botanical expedition to achieve publication of a flora at the time.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Tafalla, Juan. Flora Huayaquilensis. 2 vols. Edited by Eduardo Estrella. Madrid: Real Jardín Botánico, 1989–1991.

                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Facsimile of the flora of Ecuador, also produced as part of the Spanish Enlightenment botanical expeditions.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            Antiquarianism, Visual Culture, and the Writing of History

                                                                                            In the Spanish American Enlightenment, there was a renewed interest in studying the history of pre-Hispanic indigenous cultures through literary, visual, and material means. Archeological excavations led to the consideration of architecture and sculptures as material evidence, while archival explorations exhumed manuscript materials that provoked questions about the appropriate methods and sources for writing history. Many of these new scholarly approaches to writing the history of the New World had patriotic Creole agendas and important connections to the rise of national narratives. Cañizares-Esguerra 2001 is a magisterial analysis of this phenomenon, setting it into both Spanish American and European intellectual contexts. Los pinceles de la historia focuses on the connections between the visual arts and the writing of national history in pre- and post-independence Mexico. Cuadriello 2011 provides a rich and in-depth case study of painting and local identity in Mexico. Estrada de Gerlero 1993 and Estrada de Gerlero 1994 are brief general overviews of Spanish American antiquarianism from 1759 to 1808. Three central figures in the study and reception of Mexican antiquities—Antonio de León y Gama, Guillermo Dupaix, and Alexander von Humboldt—are treated in Gutiérrez Haces 1995, Alcina Franch 1969, Estrada de Gerlero 1994, and Quiñones-Keber 1996, respectively.

                                                                                            • Alcina Franch, José, ed. Guillermo Dupaix: Expediciones acerca de los antiguos monumentos de la Nueva España, 1805–1808. 2 vols. Madrid: Ediciones J. Porrúa Turanzas, 1969.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              Reproduces one of several extant manuscript versions of Dupaix’s account of his three archaeological expeditions in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Yucatan, as well as the drawings made by his collaborator, the artist José Luciano Castañeda.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • Cañizares-Esguerra, Jorge. How to Write the History of the New World: Histories, Epistemologies, and Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                An important prize-winning study of the writing of human and natural history in Enlightenment Spanish America and Europe that sheds light on the emergence of a Creole patriotic epistemology. Devotes close attention to visual and material sources and culture.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                • Cuadriello, Jaime. The Glories of the Republic of Tlaxcala: Art and Life in Viceregal Mexico. Translated by Christopher J. Follet. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  A landmark study of art, society, religion, and history in the Mexican Enlightenment, which analyzes the production of a set of oil paintings commissioned by an indigenous parish in 1789. The works articulated the community’s profound religiosity and also situated it within a mythic and prophetic historical discourse. Originally published as Las glorias de la República de Tlaxcala: O la conciencia como imagen sublime (Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2004).

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Estrada de Gerlero, Elena Isabel. “Carlos III y los estudios anticuarios en Nueva Espana.” In 1492–1992: V centenario, arte y historia. Edited by Xavier Moyssen and Louise Noelle, 63–92. Mexico City: UNAM, 1993.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Introduction to antiquarianism in New Spain during the reign of Charles III (1759–1788).

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Estrada de Gerlero, Elena Isabel. “La labor anticuaria novohispana en la época de Carlos IV: Guillermo Dupaix, precursor de la historia del arte prehispánico.” In Arte, historia e identidad en América: Visiones comparativas. Vol. 1. Edited by Gustavo Curiel, Renato Gonzáles Mello, and Juana Gutiérrez Haces, 191–205. Mexico City: UNAM, 1994.

                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Overview of Dupaix’s work in the context of antiquarian research in New Spain during the reign of Charles IV (r. 1788–1808).

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Gutiérrez Haces, Juana. “Las antigüedades Mexicanas en las descripciones de don Antonio de León y Gama.” In Los discursos sobre el arte. Edited by Juana Gutiérrez Haces, 121–146. Mexico City: UNAM, 1995.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Study of the antiquarian work of the Mexican polymath Antonio de León y Gama, a patriotic Creole famous for his 1792 publication on two recently excavated Aztec works, the sun stone and a stone sculpture of the goddess Coatlicue.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Los pinceles de la historia: De la patria criolla a la nación mexicana, 1750–1860. Mexico City: Munal, 2000.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Catalogue of an exhibition tracing the relationship between the visual arts and the creation of national history in Mexico from the Enlightenment through the mid-19th century. Part of an ambitious series of shows and related publications documenting the long history of these connections in Mexico from the 16th to 20th centuries.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Quiñones-Keber, Eloise. “Humboldt and Aztec Art.” Colonial Latin American Review 5.2 (December 1996): 277–297.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/10609169608569894Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Discusses Alexander von Humboldt’s responses to Aztec antiquities and his impact on later views of pre-Columbian art.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            Scientific Expeditions

                                                                                                            Scientific expeditions flourished during the Hispanic Enlightenment, though they remain understudied compared to better-known British and French examples. These expeditions arose within the context of Enlightenment reforms that created new institutions such as botanical gardens, natural history cabinets, and astronomical observatories in the peninsula and the viceroyalties alike. Imperial administrators saw a pressing need to renew scientific and medical education, particularly in the context of military academies, and to pursue the economic and utilitarian potentials of scientific exploration. Natural history was an area of special interest for the Spanish scientific expeditions, particularly botany, both in its taxonomic and economic aspects. The expeditions also had an important visual component, employing traveling artists who created about 13,000 drawings and watercolors of American natural history. Sota Ríus 2004 provides a brief general overview of Spanish Enlightenment science and the expeditions. A series of large-format, four-color, generously and beautifully illustrated books published between the late 1980s and the early 2000s document the various expeditions through materials held in Madrid archives, principally in the Real Jardín Botánico. Muñoz Garmendia 2003 documents the earliest of this series of voyages, the Royal Botanical Expedition to Chile and Peru (1777–1788). San Pío Aladrén 1992 focuses on the Royal Botanical Expedition to the New Kingdom of Granada (1783–1816); San Pío Aladrén 2000, on the New Spain expedition (1787–1803); and San Pío Aladrén 1997, on the botanical work of Juan de Cuéllar in the Philippines during the 1780s and 1790s. The most detailed study is La expedición Malaspina, a nine-volume publication that offers transcriptions of many texts and reproductions of drawings by various participants in the Malaspina expedition (1789–1794), accompanied by scholarly essays. In terms of the expedition’s attention to visual depiction, Bleichmar 2009 traces the relationship among science, utility, and visibility, explaining the expeditions’ pictorial impetus, while Bleichmar 2006 studies the drawings of the New Granada expedition in terms of the development of an original pictorial style. Sotos Serrano 1982 offers a catalogue of the drawings from the Malaspina expedition, with biographies of its artists and reproductions of many works.

                                                                                                            • Bleichmar, Daniela. “Painting as Exploration: Visualizing Nature in Eighteenth-Century Colonial Science.” Colonial Latin American Review 15.1 (June 2006): 81–104.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/10609160600607499Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Analyzes the pictorial work of the New Granada botanical expedition, which pursued the illustration of New World nature to an unprecedented and unmatched extent, turning painting into a method for exploring nature. Through visual and textual evidence, argues for the development of an original American style of natural history illustration.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Bleichmar, Daniela. “A Visible and Useful Empire: Visual Culture and Colonial Natural History in the Eighteenth-Century Spanish World.” In Science in the Spanish and Portuguese Empires, 1500–1800. Edited by Daniela Bleichmar, Paula DeVos, Kristin Huffine, and Kevin Sheehan, 290–310. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009.

                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Introduces the Spanish Enlightenment scientific expeditions in terms of two interrelated pursuits: utility—particularly in economic and industrial terms—and visibility.

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                • La expedición Malaspina, 1789–1794. 9 vols. Madrid: Lunwerg Editores, 1987–1996.

                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  Extensive, multivolume study of the Malaspina expedition to South, Central, and North America; the Philippines; and Australia. Offers transcriptions of many texts by expedition members, as well as scholarly essays. Amply and beautifully illustrated.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Muñoz Garmendia, Félix, ed. La botánica al servicio de la corona: La expedición de Ruiz, Pavón y Dombey al virreinato del Perú. Madrid: Lunwerg Editores, 2003.

                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Discusses the earliest of these Enlightenment expeditions, the eleven-year botanical voyage to Chile and Peru led by Hipólito Ruiz and José Pavón.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • San Pío Aladrén, María Pilar de, ed. Mutis y la Real Expedición Botánica del Nuevo Reyno de Granada. 2 vols. Barcelona: Lunwerg Editores, 1992.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      A study of the lengthiest of these projects, the botanical expedition to New Granada directed by the physician and botanist José Celestino Mutis. This expedition was also the most visually productive of the voyages, and an essay by Carmen Sotos Serrano focuses on its pictorial corpus (Vol. 1, pp. 121–157).

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • San Pío Aladrén, María Pilar de, ed. La expedición de Juan de Cuéllar a Filipinas. Madrid: Lunwerg Editores, 1997.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        A study of the work of Juan de Cuéllar, a botanist employed by the Philippines Company to develop the cultivation of cinnamon in the islands.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • San Pío Aladrén, María Pilar de, ed. El águila y el nopal. La expedición de Sessé y Moziño a Nueva España (1787–1803). Madrid: Lunwerg Editores, 2000.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          A study of the natural history expedition to New Spain directed by Martín de Sessé and José Mariano Mociño.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Sota Ríus, José de la. “Spanish Science and Enlightenment Expeditions.” In Pain in the Age of Exploration, 1492–1819. Edited by Chiyo Ishikawag 159–188. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            An overview of Spanish Enlightenment science in general, placing the expeditions within that context.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Sotos Serrano, Carmen. Los pintores de la expedición de Alejandro Malaspina. 2 vols. Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia, 1982.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              A two-volume catalogue of the drawings and watercolors produced by the painters in the Malaspina expedition. It contains an entry for each pictorial work, reproduces many of them, and provides biographies of the expedition’s artists.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              Cartography

                                                                                                                              The Hispanic Enlightenment produced multiple cartographic projects, many related to scientific expeditions. At times the goals of these territorial explorations were imperial, attempting to make the viceroyalties visible for improved administration, governance, and economic exploitation. At times the goals were Creole and patriotic, connecting knowledge of the territory to a homegrown sense of ownership and epistemic authority. Safier 2008 examines various representations of South America produced by the Geodesic Expedition to the Equator (1735–1744), led by Charles Marie de la Condamine, which took French and Spanish scientists to South America to make measurements that would help determine the true shape of the Earth. Nieto-Olarte 2006 examines the cartographic work of the New Granadan Creole naturalist, lawyer, and patriot Francisco José de Caldas. Caldas collaborated with the Royal Botanical Expedition led by José Celestino Mutis, who appointed him director of the new astronomical observatory. He authored various treatises on New Granadan natural history and political economy and attempted unsuccessfully to accompany Alexander von Humboldt in his voyage. Cañizares-Esguerra 2004 claims that Humboldt derived his concept of biogeographical plant distribution based not only on his ascent of the Chimborazo mountain but also on his familiarity with a visual chart developed by Caldas, which provided a model for Humboldt’s own better-known visualization.

                                                                                                                              • Cañizares-Esguerra, Jorge. “How Derivative Was Humboldt? Microcosmic Nature Narratives in Early Modern Mestizo Spanish America and the (Other) Origins of Humboldt’s Ecological Sensibilities.” In Colonial Botany: Science, Commerce, and Politics. Edited by Londa Schiebinger and Claudia Swan, 148–168. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Shows Alexander von Humboldt’s indebtedness to the work of patriotic Creole naturalists, particularly Francisco José de Caldas, for his idea of plant biogeography. Caldas’s visual diagram supports this claim.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                • Nieto-Olarte, Mauricio. La obra cartográfica de Francisco José de Caldas. Bogotá, Colombia: Universidad de los Andes, 2006.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  A study of the cartographic work of the New Granadan naturalist, lawyer, and patriot Francisco José de Caldas.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Safier, Neil Franklin. Measuring the New World: Enlightenment Science and South America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    An analysis of the La Condamine expedition to Ecuador, which examines what happened to European enlightenment science in an American setting, and how South America was in turn depicted in Europe as a result of this exploration.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    Architecture and Urbanism

                                                                                                                                    The Spanish American Enlightenment had important implications for architecture and viceregal urban life. Stylistically, the immoderate ornate fireworks of churrigueresque (Spanish American rococo) architecture were reined in by the embrace of a neoclassical style. Institutionally, this change is connected to new Bourbon policies and to the rise of fine arts academies such as San Carlos in Mexico City. Cortés Rocha 2007 documents the long history of classicism in Mexican architecture, from the conquest to the foundation of the San Carlos Fine Arts Academy. Fuentes Rojas 2002 describes the teaching of architectural draftsmanship at San Carlos and provides a catalogue of architectural drawings from 1779 to 1843. Katzman 2002 surveys religious architecture in Mexico during the same decades. Guarda and Toesca 1997 examines the work of Italian-born architect Joaquín Toesca in 18th-century Chile as an example of imperial architecture. Barriga Tello 2004 examines the impact of the Bourbon Enlightenment in Lima architecture. Walker 2008 examines the same city’s large-scale destruction by an earthquake and tsunami in 1746, highlighting the connections between architectural and social order among other visual topics. Curcio-Nagy 2004 focuses on ephemeral architecture and other visual productions associated with secular and religious processions in colonial Mexico City, demonstrating that visual performances had strong imperial connotations about governance, allegiance, social order, and local politics.

                                                                                                                                    • Barriga Tello, Martha. Influencia de la Ilustración borbónica en el arte limeño, siglo XVIII: Antecedentes y aplicación. Lima, Peru: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, 2004.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Study of the artistic and architectural impact of the Bourbon Enlightenment in Lima, with particular attention to the neoclassical work of the architect Matías Maestro in the period 1786–1806 and the Cathedral of Lima and Church of Santo Domingo after the 1746 earthquake.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Cortés Rocha, Xavier. El clasicismo en la arquitectura mexicana, 1524–1784. Mexico City: Miguel Ángel Porrúa, 2007.

                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        A survey of classical motifs in New Spanish architecture from 1524 to 1784, useful for contextualizing Enlightenment neoclassicism within a longer history.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Curcio-Nagy, Linda. The Great Festivals of Colonial Mexico City: Performing Power and Identity. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          An eye-opening study of secular and religious festivals in colonial Mexico City and the connections between visual displays, power, and identity. Although the book covers a longer time span, a good portion is devoted to the Enlightenment and changes between the Habsburg and Bourbon periods. See especially pp. 67–154.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Fuentes Rojas, Elizabeth. La Academia de San Carlos y los constructores del Neoclásico: Primer catálogo de dibujo arquitectónico, 1779–1843. Mexico City: UNAM, 2002.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Three brief chapters outline the teaching of architecture at San Carlos, particularly in light of mathematics and draftsmanship. A comprehensive catalogue reproduces the architectural drawings produced there between 1779 and 1843, organized by artist, and includes biographical sketches.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Guarda, Gabriel, and Joaquín Toesca. El arquitecto de la Moneda: Joaquín Toesca, 1752–1799; Una imagen del imperio español en América. Santiago, Chile: Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile, 1997.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Examines the work of the Italian architect Joaquín Toesca, active in Santiago de Chile between 1780 and his death in 1799. Toesca designed two important buildings, the Cathedral and the Palacio de la Moneda (royal mint), both of which have imperial resonances.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Katzman, Israel. Arquitectura religiosa en México (1780–1830). Mexico City: UNAM, Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2002.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                A study of religious architecture in Enlightenment Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                • Walker, Charles F. Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru, and Its Long Aftermath. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  A study of the 1746 earthquake-tsunami that ravaged the city of Lima, and its consequences in terms of governance, social order, local politics, and gender, among other factors. Ample discussion of architecture and urban structure, as well as a chapter on premonitions, visions, and omens that addresses the visual imagination.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  Religion

                                                                                                                                                  Though there is no monographic study of the visual culture of religion during the Spanish American Enlightenment, the topic is rich and important. The Spanish American Enlightenment affected the visual culture of religion in various ways. Religious architecture tended to shift from a churrigueresque (Spanish American rococo) to a neoclassical style (see Architecture and Urbanism). In multiple sites throughout the Americas, there appears to have been an increase in individual sponsorship of religious paintings for public settings, as evidenced by the proliferation of patron portraits within works commissioned for local churches (e.g., see Exhibition Catalogues) and of religious portraiture depicting nuns (see Gender). At times these religious commissions carried patriotic and historical connotations, as discussed in Cuadriello 2011. Visual culture had an important role in the transformation of local devotions. For example, the campaign promoting the cult of Guadalupe in New Spain was supported visually through paintings and prints, and her proclamation as the patroness of New Spain in 1746 (with papal recognition in 1754) led to the multiplication of pictorial representations. Brading 2001 is the definitive history of the cult of Guadalupe in Mexico from the conquest to the present, with much attention to visual culture and a central section on the 18th century. Peterson 1992 is a succinct overview of the changing sociopolitical implications of the cult over time, while Cuadriello 1989 documents the iconographical variations of Guadalupe’s representation from the 17th to 19th centuries. In contrast to these large-scale studies, Loreto López 1997 provides a more intimate examination of visual piety in 18th-century elite households in the city of Puebla, Mexico. Though the author’s description of religious practice and ideology are rather idealized, the study provides a helpful glimpse into the presence of religious images in domestic settings. Curiel and Rubial 2002 discusses the public and private contexts for religious art in 17th- and 18th-century Mexico. Larkin 2004 analyzes the effect of Bourbon and theological reforms on devotional practices involving works of art.

                                                                                                                                                  • Brading, David. Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe: Image and Tradition, 1531–2000. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    The definitive work on the subject, with three chapters on the 1700s addressing various aspects of visual culture, including the construction of a new church in honor of the virgin, the use of prints and other visual materials to promote and celebrate her as Patron of New Spain, and the role of painters and painting in the cult. See especially pp. 119–227.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Cuadriello, Jaime. Maravilla americana: Variantes de la iconografía guadalupana, siglos XVII–XIX. Mexico City: Museo de la Basílica de Guadalupe, 1989.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Exhibition catalogue of a show documenting the changes in Guadalupan iconography from the 17th to 19th centuries.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Cuadriello, Jaime. The Glories of the Republic of Tlaxcala: Art and Life in Viceregal Mexico. Translated by Christopher J. Follet. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2011.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        Analyzes a set of oil paintings commissioned by an indigenous parish in 1789, which articulated the community’s profound religiosity and also situated it within a mythic and prophetic historical discourse, in this way signaling the local agendas and contexts of religious art in the Hispanic Enlightenment. Published originally as Las glorias de la República de Tlaxcala: O la conciencia como imagen sublime (Mexico City: Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2004).

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Curiel, Gustavo, and Antonio Rubial. “Los espejos de lo propio: Ritos públicos y usos privados en la pintura virreinal.” In Pintura y vida cotidiana en México: Siglos xvii–xx. Edited by Gustavo Curiel, Fausto Ramírez, Antonio Rubial, and Angélica Velázquez. Mexico City: Banamex/Fundación Caixa de Girona/Fundación El Monte, 2002.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Situates 17th- and 18th-century religious painting within both public and private devotional contexts.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Larkin, Brian. “Liturgy, Devotion, and Religious Reform in Eighteenth-Century Mexico City.” The Americas 60.4 (April 2004): 493–518.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1353/tam.2004.0059Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Discusses the ways in which the Bourbon reforms and theological reforms affected devotional practices involving works of art.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Loreto López, Rosalva. “Familial Religiosity and Images in the Home: Eighteenth-Century Puebla de los Ángeles, Mexico.” Journal of Family History 22.1 (1997): 26–49.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/036319909702200102Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              A study of the presence of religious images in sixteen elite households in 18th-century Puebla. Discusses the types of works present in these homes, their settings and spatial distribution, and the relationship between viewer and image in terms of the internalization of Christian piety (a phenomenon described in a rather idealized way).

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Peterson, Jeanette Favrot. “The Virgin of Guadalupe: Symbol of Conquest or Liberation?” Art Journal 51.4 (Winter 1992): 39–47.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/777283Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                A synthetic overview of the sociopolitical connotations of the cult of Guadalupe in Mexico as it transformed over time.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                Gender

                                                                                                                                                                McIntyre and Phillips 2007 is the best existing overview of gender in Spanish American art, in multiple contexts including some Enlightenment cases. Monjas coronadas and Montero Alarcón 2008 treat the fascinating Spanish American painting genre known as monjas coronadas (crowned nuns). These portraits were commissioned to celebrate a young woman’s entrance into conventual life, or to commemorate her death, allowing for an exploration of the connections among visual culture, religion, and gender. Perry 1999 discusses a related artistic tradition, the miniature religious paintings known as nuns’ escudos (shields), arguing for their role in the expression of Creole identities. Donahue-Wallace 2002 provides a nonconventual example through her analysis of the inquisitorial case against the female patron of politically sensitive religious print, contrasting this incendiary example with the normative standards for female behavior mandated in a popular book.

                                                                                                                                                                • Donahue-Wallace, Kelly. “La casada imperfecta: A Woman, A Print, and the Inquisition.” Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 18.22 (Summer 2002): 231–250.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1525/msem.2002.18.2.231Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Discusses the 1767 Mexican inquisitorial trial of a woman who commissioned a religious engraving critical of the recent expulsion of the Jesuit order, examining the role of the female patron and of print media, particularly in the context of a popular book that prescribed appropriate womanly behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • McIntyre, Kellen Kee, and Richard E. Phillips, eds. Woman and Art in Early Modern Latin America. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    A collection of seventeen essays addressing the presence and representation of women in Spanish American art in historical, social, and cultural context, from the 16th to 19th centuries. Several contributions address the late 1700s and early 1800s.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Monjas coronadas: Vida conventual femenina en hispanoamérica. Mexico City: INAH and Museo Nacional del Virreinato, 2003.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Catalogue of an exhibition at the Museo Nacional del Virreinato that reproduces multiple portraits of crowned nuns and includes scholarly essays by noted scholars on conventual life in colonial Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Montero Alarcón, Alma. Monjas coronadas: Profesión y muerte en hispanoamérica virreinal. Mexico City: Museo Nacional del Virreinato, 2008.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        A study of the genre of crowned-nun portraits, addressing its evolution and characteristics, daily life in Spanish American convents, and the coronation ceremonies that these paintings commemorated. Includes a CD-ROM with 176 images and brief videos.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Perry, Elizabeth. “Escudos de Monjas/Shields of Nuns: The Creole Convent and Images of Mexican Identity in Miniature.” PhD diss., Brown University, 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          A dissertation analyzing the painted shields commissioned by Mexican nuns, which are depicted in crowned portraits, in terms of conventual life, gender, and Creole identity.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          Political Unrest

                                                                                                                                                                          Much scholarship on the Spanish American Enlightenment is centered on the period as a prelude to the independence wars that started in 1810, and visual culture had an important role in political unrest—one that deserves richer study. Benson, et al. 2004 includes a section on portraiture during and after the independence wars, as well as examples from the period. For South America, Boulton 1964 is the classic work examining the depiction of Simón Bolívar, though it is by now historiographically dated. Gisbert 1979 discusses an engraving of Inca kings produced in Lima in the 1700s, the rise in popularity of this imagery, and its censorship after the rebellion led by Túpac Amaru made its indigenous patriotic connotations threatening to the viceregal political order. For Mexico, Bonilla 2000 and Esparza Liberal 2000 discuss the role of visual culture in revolutionary politics from the end of the viceregal period through the first three decades of the independent nation.

                                                                                                                                                                          • Benson, Elizabeth P. Retratos: 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Section 4 of this exhibition catalogue focuses on the independent period, with numerous examples of political art and an essay addressing the wars of independence.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            • Bonilla, Helia. “La gráfica satírica y los proyectos políticos de nación (1808–1857).” In Los pinceles de la historia: De la patria criolla a la nación mexicana, 1750–1860. Edited by Esther Acevedo, 170–187. Mexico City: Munal, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Examines political caricatures produced in Mexico life from the early years of the independence movement through the first decades of the nation state, in particular considering engravings published in periodicals.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              • Boulton, Alfredo. Los retratos de Bolívar. 2d ed. Caracas, Venezuela: Editorial Arte, 1964.

                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                A classic study of Bolivarean iconography, originally published in 1956. Now dated in its historiographical approach but not superseded.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                • Esparza Liberal, María José. “La insurgencia de las imágenes y las imágenes de los insurgentes.” In Los pinceles de la historia: De la patria criolla a la nación mexicana, 1750–1860. Edited by Esther Acevedo, 132–151. Mexico City: Munal, 2000.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  Analyzes the iconography of political imagery—engravings in particular—during the first decades of independent Mexico, considering allegorical images, narrative representations of historical events, and portraits of the main characters in the independence war and new regimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gisbert, Teresa. “Los Incas en la pintura virreinal del siglo XVIII.” América indígena 39.4 (1979): 749–772.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Discusses the emergence and popularity of representations of Inca kings in 18th-century Peru, as well as their censorship after the Túpac Amaru rebellion made expressions of indigenous pride politically suspect.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                    Article

                                                                                                                                                                                    Up

                                                                                                                                                                                    Down