Enfilade

New Book | Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between

Posted in books by Editor on May 23, 2017

From University of Texas Press:

Ananda Cohen Suarez, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between: Murals of the Colonial Andes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2016), 304 pages, ISBN: 978  14773  09544 (hardcover), $90 / ISBN: 978  14773  09551 (softcover), $30.

This first comprehensive English-language study of the church-wall paintings created in Peru’s Cuzco region from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries unveils the complex intersections of religious artists, indigenous congregants, and colonizers.

Examining the vivid, often apocalyptic church murals of Peru from the early colonial period through the nineteenth century, Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between explores the sociopolitical situation represented by the artists who generated these murals for rural parishes. Arguing that the murals were embedded in complex networks of trade, commerce, and the exchange of ideas between the Andes and Europe, Ananda Cohen Suarez also considers the ways in which artists and viewers worked through difficult questions of envisioning sacredness.

This study brings to light the fact that, unlike the murals of New Spain, the murals of the Andes possess few direct visual connections to a pre-Columbian painting tradition; the Incas’ preference for abstracted motifs created a problem for visually translating Catholic doctrine to indigenous congregations, as the Spaniards were unable to read Inca visual culture. Nevertheless, as Cohen Suarez demonstrates, colonial murals of the Andes can be seen as a reformulation of a long-standing artistic practice of adorning architectural spaces with images that command power and contemplation. Drawing on extensive secondary and archival sources, including account books from the churches, as well as on colonial Spanish texts, Cohen Suarez urges us to see the murals not merely as decoration or as tools of missionaries but as visual archives of the complex negotiations among empire, communities, and individuals.

C O N T E N T S

Acknowledgements

Introduction
1  The Painted Walls of the Andes: Chronology, Techniques, and Meanings
2  The Road to Hell is Paved with Flowers: Journeys to the Afterlife at the Church of Andahuaylillas
3  Clothing the Architectonic Body: Textile Murals of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
4  Turning the Jordan River into a Pacarina: Murals of the Baptism of Christ at the Churches of Urcos and Pitumarca
5  Earthly Violence/Divine Justice: Tadeo Escalante’s Murals at the Church of Huaro
Conclusion

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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