1-20 of 38 results  for:

  • Latin American/Caribbean Art x
  • 1500–1600 x
Clear all


Maria Concepción García Sáiz

Italian family of engineers and architects. They were active in Spain and Spanish America in the service of the Spanish Habsburgs from 1559 to 1650. The most prominent member of the family was Juan Bautista Antonelli the elder (b Gaeteo, Italy, c. 1530; d Madrid, 17 March 1588), who settled in Spain from 1559 while working in the employ of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Most of his fortification works were carried out in the coastal south-east of Spain, where several members of his family settled, although he also worked in Oran and particularly in Portugal as a strategist and engineer. Many of his projects were not realized, including the creation of a navigable river network throughout the Iberian peninsula to facilitate the transport of merchandise from the ports to the interior. Several fortification plans for the Magellan Straits also failed to materialize.

Bautista Antonelli (b Rimini, ...


François-Auguste de Montêquin

(b Burgos, 1526–7; d Mexico City, 1593).

Mexican architect and sculptor of Spanish birth. In 1541 he moved from his native city to Madrid, where he served as an apprentice to Luis de Vega, one of the architects working in the High Renaissance style for Emperor Charles V. Arciniega worked with Vega in the remodelling of the Alcázar at Madrid. At intervals between 1542 and 1548 he worked under the direction of Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón as a sculptor on the Plateresque façade of the university at Alcalá de Henares. He was possibly also responsible for the main retable in the church of Santiago at Guadalajara.

In 1554 Arciniega arrived in New Spain (now Mexico) with his brother Luis de Arciniega (1537–99), who was also an architect. He settled in Puebla de los Angeles (now Puebla) and worked there between 1554 and 1558, primarily engaged in a large number of public works as master mason. He established his reputation with the fountain that he constructed (...


Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Herguijuela, Extremadura, 1545; d 1605).

Spanish architect, active in South America. Both his father, Alonso (d ?1570), and his grandfather, Domingo, were architects; the latter was the Maestro Mayor of Toledo Cathedral (completed 1493). Francisco was considered one of the finest architects in Extremadura, where he was active on a wide range of schemes including the church of S Maria and the chapel of S Isabel (both Trujillo), patrician houses in Guevara, and a chapel between the cloisters in Guadalupe Monastery. In 1573 he left for America, one of the few architects permitted to do so by the Spanish government, which restricted the emigration of qualified personnel. The fact that Becerra was immediately associated with works of magnitude confirms his importance. In 1575 he became the Maestro Mayor of Puebla Cathedral in Mexico, assisted by Francisco Gutiérrez Cabello. By his own account his activity on this assignment lasted for five years and probably included the design and laying of the foundations; however, the plan was amended after ...



Sofía Sanabrais

Name used in Mexico and throughout Latin America for a folding screen. The word biombo is a transliteration of the Japanese word for folding screen—byōbu—an acknowledgement of its place of origin. The Japanese byōbu has long been a quintessential example of Japanese art and was a common diplomatic gift to foreign courts in the early modern period (see Screen, §1). Referred to as the ‘face of Japanese diplomacy’, byōbu were presented as ambassadors of Japanese culture to places as far off as London and Mexico City. Byōbu also found their way to New Spain as exports in the Manila Galleon trade. In 17th-century Mexico the Japanese screen was admired by artists and patrons, and was adapted and reinterpreted on a grand scale. The unique format of the biombo provided new ways for artists to depict subject-matter, and locally made biombos began appearing in the archival record in the first years of the 17th century. ...


Annick Benavides

[Bitti, Aloisio Bernardino Giovanni Demócrito]

(b Camerino, the Marches, 1548; d Lima, 1610).

Italian painter and sculptor active in Peru. One of seven children born to Pablo and Cornelia Bitti, Bernardo Bitti commenced formal training in the arts at the age of 14 in Camerino and completed his training in Rome. He was inducted into the Society of Jesus as a Coadjutor Brother on 2 May 1568 at the age of 20. The General of the Society of Jesus, Everardo Mecurián, assigned Bitti to the Viceroyalty of Peru in 1573 at the request of the Jesuit Provincial in Peru, Diego Bracamante, who believed religious imagery would facilitate the Catholic indoctrination of indigenous Andeans at missions. After spending 14 months in Seville, Bitti arrived in Lima on 31 May 1575 and worked there for 8 years. He subsequently embarked on a peripatetic career decorating the interiors of Jesuit sites in Cuzco, Juli, La Paz, Sucre, Potosí, Arequipa, and Ayacucho.

Bitti created the main and lateral altarpieces of the Jesuit provisional church of S Pedro in Lima with the assistance of the Andalusian Jesuit artist Pedro de Vargas (...



Gordon Campbell

[bucaro; búcaro; buccaro]

Scented red earthenware brought originally by the Portuguese from Mexico; the word derives from Portuguese búcaro (clay cup). The term also denotes similar earthenware made in Portugal and Spain (especially Talavera) from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and the imitation made by Johann Friedrich Böttger at Meissen; the name is also applied to the red Chinese stoneware made in Yixing.

M. C. García Sáiz and J. L. Barrio Moya: ‘Presencia de cerámica colonial mexicana en España’, An. Inst. Invest. Estét., vol.58 (1987), pp. 108–10 M. C. García Sáiz and M. Ángeles Albert: ‘La cerámica de Tonalá en las colecciones Europeas’, Tonalá: Sol de barro, ed. S. Urutia and J. de la Fuente (Mexico City, 1991) J. C. Castro and M. C. McQuade: Talavera Poblana: Four Centuries of a Mexican Ceramic Tradition (Albuquerque, NM, 2000) B. Hamann: ‘The Mirrors of Las Meninas: Cochineal, Silver, and Clay’, A. Bull., vol.92 (March–June 2010), pp. 6–35...


The indigenous people of the Caribbean that encountered incoming Europeans c. 1492 included a diverse range of cultural and ethnic groups on almost every island in the archipelago. Names attributed to these groups in the centuries since European contact have been and continue to be debated by archaeologists and ethno-historians. These native peoples exhibited different languages, settlement patterns, and material cultures.

For eastern Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico the name Taino is often attached to the indigenous groups on these islands at the time of European contact. Yet neither natives nor Europeans ever used the term to refer to a cultural group or ethnicity. Instead, taíno meant ‘noble’ or ‘good’ in the immediate Arawakan languages and may have been used by natives to differentiate themselves from indigenous rivals or European oppressors. While no encompassing substitute term yet exists, it is important to note that Taino is now used to refer to a broad set of cultural practices in the archipelago for the groups occupying the northern Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Cuba. Common among these people was the construction of settlements with dwellings surrounding a common space upon which the house of a ruler or ...


Spanish and Latin American cathedrals are distinguished by their broad hall-like interiors, their gilded and polychrome Retables, the central position of the enclosed choir (coro), and the pairs of monumental organs that flank each side of the choir. The construction of twin organs reached its apogee in the middle of the 18th century. Typically, these organs have two façades, one facing towards the choir and one facing out towards the lateral aisles. The earliest extant example of this design is found in the double-façade organ (1469) of the cathedral of Saragossa. This organ is noted for its red-and-gold Gothic case.

The technical development of the Spanish organ, though distinct in detail, parallels the general trends found throughout Europe. The 17th, and particularly, the 18th century saw the modest size of cathedral organs evolve into large and complex machines. The enlarging of the sound palette (organ stops) resulted in an increase in the space needed to house the pipes. The position of the organ in Spanish cathedrals—in the nave arches—intrinsically constrained the organ builders’ ability to expand the depth of the instrument. The solution was to stack the internal division of the organ vertically, and most innovatively, externally. Organ cases grew higher and wider, eventually occupying the entire space of the arch. Examples of this are the monumental mirror-organs of the Andalusian cathedrals of Seville (...


José Alcina Franch

Pre-Columbian city that flourished c. ad 1450–1540, 28 km (by road) north of Cuzco, Peru; excavated by José Alcina between 1968 and 1970. The town centre is on a high plateau, 3720 m above sea level, near Lake Piuray on the old road from Cuzco to the Yucay Valley. Chinchero was ‘founded’ as an Inca imperial city at the beginning of the reign of Tupac Inca Yupanqui (reg ad 1471–93) and became the country residence of his panaka (lineage group). The proximity of Cuzco—15 km by the Inca road—meant that the architecture of Chinchero was heavily influenced by the imperial Inca style (see also South America, Pre-Columbian, §III, 2, (iii)).

The urban nature of the site is evident not only from the size and quality of its buildings but also from the way they are sited. There was an internal communication system and also a drainage system that catered for the whole area, ensuring the draining of all residual waters into the ravine adjacent to the site. The city-plan can be divided into three sectors: a residential and administrative sector, a religious sector and an agricultural sector. The first two evolved around two squares, that of the present village and the ...


Maria Concepción García Sáiz

(fl 1568–1612; d Mexico, 1612).

Spanish painter and architect, active in Mexico. In 1568 he went from Spain to Mexico, where he was commissioned to paint the principal retable of the church of the Dominican monastery, Yanhuitlán, Oaxaca State, with the Annunciation, the Adoration of the Shepherds, the Adoration of the Magi, the Presentation in the Temple, the Descent from the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, the Last Judgement, the Immaculate Conception, St Jerome, Mary Magdalene, St Luke, and St Dominic (1570–75). These reflect his style as a Mannerist painter of the Seville school influenced particularly by Luis de Vargas.

In 1580–81 Andrés de la Concha collaborated with Simón Pereins on the retable (destr., paintings untraced) of the high altar in the monastery of Teposcolula, Oaxaca State; and in this period he also worked in the church of the Dominican Order of Coixtlahuaca, Oaxaca State, on paintings for the retable, of which eleven panels survive: three dedicated to the ...


Teresa Gisbert

Term used to refer to the Peruvian painters of various ethnic origins active in Cuzco from the 16th to the 19th century (see fig.). When Viceroy Toledo reached Cuzco in 1570, he commissioned a series of paintings (destr.) to be sent to Spain, which included depictions of the conquest and capture of Atahuallpa (d 1533) and portraits of the Inca rulers. These works were painted by Indians who had been taught by such Spanish masters as Loyola. From the beginning of Spanish colonization until the end of the 16th century, two currents existed in painting in Cuzco: that of the Spanish masters, influenced by Netherlandish and Late Gothic art; and the indigenous tradition. Both influences persisted simultaneously until Roman Mannerism reached Peru through the work of three Italian painters based in Lima: Mateo Pérez de Alesio, Bernardo Bitti, and Angelino Medoro. Bitti, a Jesuit, worked in Cuzco with, among others, two disciples of Medoro: the Indian ...


Maria Concepción García Sáiz


Mexican family of painters of Spanish origin. Baltasar de Echave Orio the elder (b Zumaya, c. 1558; d Mexico City, c. 1620) arrived in Mexico from Spain c. 1580. He worked with his father-in-law, Francisco de Zumaya (also known as Francisco de Ibía and Francisco de Gambo), on the principal retable and the S Miguel retable in Puebla Cathedral in 1590. His most important works date from the first two decades of the 17th century, during which he produced paintings for the retable of the Franciscan church of Santiago de Tlatelolco, Mexico City, of which the Visitation (Mexico City, Pin. Virreinal) and Porciuncula are certainly by him; the attribution of the Annunciation (Mexico City, Pin. Virreinal), Resurrection, and Stigmatization of St Francis (Guadalajara, Mus. Reg. Antropol. & Hist.), originally in the same church, is more cautious. For the church of La Profesa, Mexico City, he executed the Adoration of the Magi...



Rafael Moreira and Carlos A. C. Lemos

Portuguese family of artists. (1) Nicolau de Frias, the son of a Vizcayan sculptor, founded a dynasty of architects who were active for four generations through the 17th century directing official architectural training in Lisbon: his son Teodósio de Frias (d 1634) was Master of Royal Works, designer of the austere doorway in the style of the Escorial at the monastery of S Maria, Belém (in situ), and of the Flamengas convent at Alcântara, where members of his family were buried until 1715. Other family members included Eugenio de Frias, Luis de Frias, Valeriano de Frias, Teodósio de Frias the younger, who specialized in making gardens, and two military engineers, (2) Francisco de Frias da Mesquita, who had a distinguished career in Brazil, and Sebastião de Frias (d 1671).

(b Lisbon, 1537; d Lisbon, July 11, 1610).

Architect. He taught draughtsmanship while working as a wood-carver in his youth, becoming well-known for building wooden and hydraulic constructions. He was recognized as an accomplished architect by the church authorities in Lisbon and had planned the dormitory of the convent of S Domingos (destr. ...


Emmanuel Ortega

(fl 16th century).

Mexican painter. Gerson’s life and oeuvre has been linked to the Apocalypse of St John frescoes (1562) in the Franciscan church of Tecamachalco in the state of Puebla. The images were first painted on amate (bark paper made from the amate tree) and later transferred to the vaults above the choir where pigments were added in the fresco medium to blend both surfaces together. The cycle came to prominence via the scholarship of Manuel Toussaint, who in 1932 assigned the authorship to a painter from Flanders named Juan Gerson. Since then, the cycle’s authorship, along with Gerson’s identity, has remained a topic of controversy. Starting in the 1960s, art historians Rosa Camelo Arredondo, Jorge Gurría Lacroix, and Constantino Reyes Valerio revised this view stating that Gerson was instead a local indigenous artist. They agreed that Gerson was the principal master behind these images whose technique remains a prime example of how Pre-Columbian and European traditions were intertwined in religious spaces in New Spain....


(b ?Ayacucho, Huamanga, c. 1535–50; d ?nr Ayacucho, c. 1616).Native Andean chronicler and manuscript illustrator, active in Peru. Guaman Poma de Ayala authored an illustrated chronicle titled El primer nueva corónica i buen gobierno (1615; Copenhagen, Kon. Bib.). The manuscript, considered a principal resource for information on Andean pre-Hispanic and viceregal culture, was divided into three sections: a history of the Inca Empire, an account of the Spanish Conquest, and counsel to King Phillip III on colonial reform in ecclesiastical, political, and economic matters. It is distinguished by its indigenous authorship and graphic illustrations. The 398 full-page line drawings included in the chronicle expressed European visual templates and indigenous Andean conceptual logic. The manuscript was in the collection of the Danish Kongelige Bibliothek since at least 1729, where it remained unknown to the academic world until its re-discovery in the early 20th century.

Guaman Poma de Ayala witnessed rapid political and social transformation in the Andean world as a result of Spanish colonization and his chronicle, intended for publication and distribution, argued for the well-being of indigenous Andeans. He spoke more than one native dialect, was trained to read and write in Castilian, and gained access to rare books and prints imported from Europe. Guaman Poma de Ayala worked under the Mercedarian friar Martín de Murúa as a native informant and manuscript artist; the ...



Carolyn Dean and Ann Kendall

A Pre-Columbian culture of the Central Andean area of South America, the early Inka people are recognizable in the archaeological record of the Late Intermediate Period (c. 1000–1476 CE) from the 12th century onward. The Inka empire flourished in the 15th century and early 16th. In a more restricted sense the term refers to the ruling elite and its supreme head, the Sapa Inka (“Unique Inka”). The Inka are alone in having successfully politically unified the vast area of the Central Andes, coastlands, and adjacent regions. Their empire, the largest indigenous state in the history of the Americas, endured for approximately 100 years; it extended 4000 km from northwest to southeast and approximately 320 km inland from the South American coast (see fig.). The Inka and subjected populations engaged primarily in agriculture and pastoralism. There are widely differing estimates of the total population of Inka and subject peoples at the time of the Spanish arrival in ...


Peter W. Stahl

Island and adjacent mainland areas around the Gulf of Guayaquil in south coastal Ecuador, important in Pre-Columbian trade. The region was inhabited by the Punáes, who were possibly confederated with ethnically similar littoral groups into a Pre-Columbian league of merchants. A principal article of commerce was the shell of the venerated Pacific thorny oyster Spondylus (Quechua: mullu), traded for millennia over vast distances. Long-distance trade was conducted by means of ocean-going balsa rafts equipped with sails and oars and steered by centreboards. A possible form of Pre-Columbian currency consisting of small, thin, hammered copper sheets with flanged edges occurs throughout the area.

Political authority was held by seven caciques (leaders), including a paramount leader. The death of a cacique was honoured by interment in a large tomb with rich grave goods. The Punáes were never successfully incorporated into the Inca domain, which ended at a fortress on the mainland coast at Túmbes, approximately 77 km to the south-west. Early Spanish explorers describe the Punáes as able mariners, skilled ship builders, and fierce warriors, and Spanish descriptions of metal vessels and armaments attest to their skill as metalsmiths. Their weapons included bows and arrows, lances, clubs, slings, and metal axes. Documents of the colonial period describe the Punáes as fishermen and pilots for the Spanish port of Guayaquil....


W. Iain Mackay

(b Vergara, 1562; d Lima, 1635).

Spanish architect and sculptor active in Peru. He was trained as a sculptor by Cristóbal Velázquez (d 1616), a Mannerist of the school of Alonso Berruguete. He arrived in Lima c. 1599 and carved the life-sized reliefs of Christ and the Apostolate (1608) in cedar above the chests in the sacristy of the cathedral. They are imposing but do not strive for realism, betraying the influence of the Antique, particularly in the disposition and layout of the channelled folds and drapery and through references to Renaissance classicism. In 1614 he was appointed Maestro Mayor of Lima Cathedral, a post which he retained until his death. He is also known to have worked on the stone façade of S Lázaro. Following the earthquakes of 1606 and 1609, various architects were consulted on how to re-roof the cathedral. Wooden vaults were rejected, and Martínez de Arrona proposed Gothic ribbed vaults, executed in brick. This proposal was followed, and the church was completed by ...


Maria Concepción García Sáiz and Liliana Herrera

(b Italy, c. 1567; d Spain, c. 1631).

Italian painter and draughtsman, active in South America. After a brief stay in Seville, he arrived in South America in 1587, working particularly in Tunja and Bogotá (Colombia), Quito (Ecuador), and Lima (Peru). He returned to Spain some time after 1624. Medoro worked in the Mannerist style of Vasari and Francesco Salviati, and he was an important influence on the developing South American schools. His known work comprises a series dedicated to the Passion in the chapel of los Mancipe, Tunja Cathedral, a Virgin of Antigua in the Dominican church, and a Flagellation in the Franciscan monastery, both in Tunja. Other works include a Virgin of the Rosary (with four saints) in the convent of S Clara, Quito; St Bonaventura and the Entry into Jerusalem in the monastery of S Francisco, Lima; two paintings of the Crucifixion, one of St Diego of Alcalá, and one of St Anthony of Padua...