Enfilade

Exhibition | Power and Piety: Spanish Colonial Art

Posted in exhibitions by InternRW on August 10, 2016

Traveling exhibition through Art Services International:

Power & Piety: Spanish Colonial Art
Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, 18 March — April 17 2016

Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago, 20 August — 13 November 2016
Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, Ocala, 3 December — 26 February 2017
Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, 1 July — 24 September 2017
Figge Art Museum, Davenport, 14 October — 7 January 2018
Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, 26 January — 22 April 2018

Our Lady Guidance

Juan Pedro Lopez, Our Lady Guidance, ca. 1762, oil on wood (Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection)

From the late 17th century until the 1820s, vast profits from cattle ranching and the cultivation and trading of tropical crops turned Spanish American elites from cities in the Caribbean basin into some of the wealthiest people in the New World. The production and trading of religious art during this period was centered on high-end pieces for churches, the local nobility, and wealthy individuals; their fine craftsmanship rivaled that of luxury goods imported from Europe. More affordable—and less refined—artworks were produced in large numbers for the homes of people of lesser means.

Painters, sculptors, gilders, silversmiths, and cabinetmakers created pieces of the finest craftsmanship to compete with luxury goods imported from Europe. They benefited from a vast supply of assorted raw materials from the Americas that included not only precious metals such as gold and silver, but also rare wood varieties with colors and grains of unmatched richness, and unique local pigments. Through 57 paintings, sculpture, silver pieces, furniture, and other decorative devotional objects, this exhibition showcases a wide range of artistic production and the finesse of local masters. It offers an exceptional opportunity to learn more about the daily life and religious practices of colonial Latin America and sheds light on the nature of commercial exchange in the region.

The works are drawn from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection—a component of the Fundación Cisneros which was founded to enhance the appreciation of art from Latin America—and is co-organized by the Museum of Biblical Art, New York, and Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia.

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