Special Issue "Latin American Art, Visual and Material Culture in the Long Eighteenth Century"

A special issue of Arts (ISSN 2076-0752). This special issue belongs to the section "Visual Arts".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lauren Beck
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Canada Research Chair in Intercultural Encounter, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Visual and Material Culture Studies, Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB E4L 1C7, Canada
Interests: Early modern visual culture; settler-colonial studies; history of cartography; Empire
Dr. Alena Robin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Associate Professor, Graduate Chair of Hispanic Studies, Department of Languages and Cultures, Western University, London, ON N6A 3K7, Canada
Interests: Spanish American colonial art; New Spain; religious art; heritage protection; Latin American art in Canada

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We invite articles dealing with Latin American art, visual and material culture of the late seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries. Any aspect of artistic expression, any theoretical or methodological approach, and any geographic region of Latin America will be welcome. Topics include, but are not limited to, workshop practices, art and propaganda, patronage, identity and gender, spirituality and art, mainstream and peripheral relationships, reception and transformation, collecting and exhibition practices, processes of looking and of attracting the gaze, historiographic considerations, and conservation and restoration. We are particularly interested in contributions that spotlight women, Indigenous people, and people of colour, although we will also consider articles that do not focus on these demographics.

We invite contributors to submit their research in English for consideration. Please note that there is a two-stage submission procedure. We will first collect a title and short abstract (maximum 250 words), 5 keywords, and a short bio (150 words), by August 15th, 2020, via email to Dr. Lauren Beck ([email protected]) and Dr. Alena Robin ([email protected]). Before August 30th, we will invite selected abstracts to be submitted as 7,000–9,000 word papers for peer review by February 1st, 2021. Journal publication is expected in mid- to late-2021, depending on the revision time needed after peer review. Each article will be published open access on a rolling basis after successfully passing peer review.

Dr. Lauren Beck
Dr. Alena Robin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Arts is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • long eighteenth century
  • Latin America
  • religious art
  • visual and material culture
  • marginalized groups

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Modeling Black Piety and Community Membership in the Virgin of Altagracia Medallions
Arts 2021, 10(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10020037 - 17 Jun 2021
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Abstract
In the third quarter of the eighteenth century, Santo Domingo archbishop Isidoro Rodríguez Lorenzo (s. 1767–1788) issued a decree officializing the day of the cult for the Virgin of Altagracia as January 21 and made it a feast of three crosses for the [...] Read more.
In the third quarter of the eighteenth century, Santo Domingo archbishop Isidoro Rodríguez Lorenzo (s. 1767–1788) issued a decree officializing the day of the cult for the Virgin of Altagracia as January 21 and made it a feast of three crosses for the villa of Salvaleón de Higüey and its jurisdiction, meaning all races (free and enslaved) were allowed to join the celebrations in church. Unrelated to the issuance of this decree and approximately during this time (c. 1760–1778), a series of painted panels depicting miracles performed by the Virgin of Altagracia was produced for her sanctuary of San Dionisio in Higüey, in all likelihood commissioned by a close succession of parish priests to the maestro painter Diego José Hilaris Holt. Painted in the coarse style of popular votive panels, they gave the cult a unifying core foundation of miracles. This essay discusses the significance of the black bodies pictured in four of the panels within the project’s implicit effort to institutionalize the regional cult and vis-à-vis the archbishop’s encouragement of non-segregated celebrations for her feast day. As January 21 was associated with a renowned Spanish creole battle against the French, this essay locates these black bodies within the cult’s newfound patriotic charisma. I examine the process by which people of color were incorporated into this community of faith as part of a two-step ritual that involved seeing images while performing difference. Through contrapuntal analysis of the archbishop’s decree, I argue the images helped model black piety and community membership within a hierarchical socioracial order. Full article
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Article
Images and Landscape: The (Dis)ordering of Colonial Territory (Quito in the Eighteenth Century)
Arts 2021, 10(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10020036 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
This article explores the role played by images of the Virgin Mary in the ordering of space during the colonial period, as well as in the disruption of such order as a gesture of resistance by subordinate groups. In the Real Audiencia de [...] Read more.
This article explores the role played by images of the Virgin Mary in the ordering of space during the colonial period, as well as in the disruption of such order as a gesture of resistance by subordinate groups. In the Real Audiencia de Quito of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, civil and religious authorities used miraculous images of the Virgin Mary as aids in the founding of reducciones, which assured the imposition of Christian civility upon the Native population. Legal records suggest that in the second half of the eighteenth century Indigenous communities deployed similar strategies as a means of asserting their own concerns. Native actors physically manipulated Marian images in times of conflict, moving them around or apprehending them either to legitimize their desertion of colonial settlements or to resist forced relocation. In both the early colonial period and in the eighteenth century, the key strategy of shaping sacred landscapes was implemented in both Andean and Christian traditions. Full article
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Article
Served on a Plate: Engraved Sources of San Diego de Alcalá’s ‘Miraculous Meal’ for the Franciscans of Santiago, Chile (ca. 1710)
Arts 2021, 10(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10020030 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 370
Abstract
There exists a consensus in academic literature regarding the centrality of engraved prototypes for the production of colonial paintings in the Spanish Americas. In Peru, these artistic models were written into legal contracts between painters and clients. An examination of the notarial contracts [...] Read more.
There exists a consensus in academic literature regarding the centrality of engraved prototypes for the production of colonial paintings in the Spanish Americas. In Peru, these artistic models were written into legal contracts between painters and clients. An examination of the notarial contracts produced in Cusco from 1650 to 1700 suggests that prototypes in a variety of formats were not only central to artistic professional practice, but that adherence to their images may have provided one motive for entering into such agreements. This study leans upon the centrality of Flemish print sources to confirm the attribution of a partial canvas at the Pinacoteca Universidad de Concepción, Chile as an episode of the series on the life of Diego de Alcalá (c. 1710) in Santiago, Chile. Commissioned from Cusco by the Franciscans of Santiago, the status of the hagiographic cycle as the most extensive ever produced on the subject of this missionary saint dictates that a multiplicity of sources was necessary for its creation. By identifying two engravings that served as its models, this study recovers the subject of this painting as a miracle that sustained Diego during an arduous journey. Full article
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Article
At the Core of the Workshop: Novel Aspects of the Use of Blue Smalt in Two Paintings by Cristóbal de Villalpando
Arts 2021, 10(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10020025 - 14 Apr 2021
Viewed by 448
Abstract
During the seventeenth century, the use of smalt and indigo became increasingly common among painters’ workshops in New Spain. The unprecedented importance of these two blue pigments in oil painting may be explained by artistic and geopolitical circumstances. This article expands on the [...] Read more.
During the seventeenth century, the use of smalt and indigo became increasingly common among painters’ workshops in New Spain. The unprecedented importance of these two blue pigments in oil painting may be explained by artistic and geopolitical circumstances. This article expands on the use of blue smalt—a byproduct of glass production and a material that lacks in-depth study in viceregal painting—by focusing on the technical analysis of El Triunfo de la Eucaristía and La Asunción painted by Cristóbal de Villalpando (ca. 1649–1714), which are part of the collection of the Museo Regional de Guadalajara (Mexico). The technological and material study of both paintings, situated within the trade and circulation of painting materials at the turn of the eighteenth century, shows how the painter deployed techniques rooted in his predecessors while incorporating particular technical adaptations. The authors examine cross-section samples of Villalpando’s paintings with optical microscopy, Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), and Fourier-transformed infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), and were able to identify different qualities of smalt as well to suggest a possible provenance. These analyses evidence novel aspects in the painting tradition of workshops in New Spain that ultimately reverberated in practices of the long eighteenth century. Full article
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Article
The Retablos of Teabo and Mani: The Evolution of Renaissance Altars in Colonial Yucatán
Arts 2021, 10(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10020023 - 06 Apr 2021
Viewed by 606
Abstract
From the turn to seventeenth through the early eighteenth century, three retablos (altarpieces) were created in Yucatán that relied on a similar Renaissance design. The retablos located in the ex-convents of Mani and Teabo all adopt the Spanish sixteenth-century Renaissance style of the [...] Read more.
From the turn to seventeenth through the early eighteenth century, three retablos (altarpieces) were created in Yucatán that relied on a similar Renaissance design. The retablos located in the ex-convents of Mani and Teabo all adopt the Spanish sixteenth-century Renaissance style of the Plateresque. Further, the retablos are connected by the inclusion of caryatid framing devices that establishes a strong affinity among the works. Two of the retablos are located in Mani: the Retablo of San Antonio de Padua and the Retablo of Nuestra Señora de Soledad (or sometimes called the Dolores Retablo). At Teabo is the Retablo de Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús (or Las Ánimas). This paper explores the relationships among the retablos by considering their iconography and their styles to address the retablos’ dates and their current locations. While offering insights about these retablos, this contribution also provides a rich discussion of the thriving artistic industry that was present in Yucatán. Full article
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Article
Picturing the River’s Racial Ecologies in Colonial Panamá
Arts 2021, 10(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10020022 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 478
Abstract
This article explores the local histories and ecological knowledge embedded within a Spanish print of enslaved, Afro-descendant boatmen charting a wooden vessel up the Chagres River across the Isthmus of Panamá. Produced for a 1748 travelogue by the Spanish scientists Antonio de Ulloa [...] Read more.
This article explores the local histories and ecological knowledge embedded within a Spanish print of enslaved, Afro-descendant boatmen charting a wooden vessel up the Chagres River across the Isthmus of Panamá. Produced for a 1748 travelogue by the Spanish scientists Antonio de Ulloa and Jorge Juan, the image reflects a preoccupation with tropical ecologies, where enslaved persons are incidental. Drawing from recent scholarship by Marixa Lasso, Tiffany Lethabo King, Katherine McKittrick, and Kevin Dawson, I argue that the image makes visible how enslaved and free Afro-descendants developed a distinct cosmopolitan culture connected to intimate ecological knowledge of the river. By focusing critical attention away from the print’s Spanish manufacture to the racial ecologies of the Chagres, I aim to restore art historical visibility to eighteenth-century Panamá and Central America, a region routinely excised from studies of colonial Latin American art. Full article
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Article
Lady of the House: Augustina Meza (ca. 1758–1819), Print Publishing, and the Women of Mexican Late Colonial Art
Arts 2021, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/arts10010012 - 05 Feb 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
Using archival records of the Sagrario Metropolitano and material analysis of extant prints, the paper presents the life and work of the only known woman printmaker in viceregal New Spain, María Augustina Meza. It traces Meza and her work through two marriages to [...] Read more.
Using archival records of the Sagrario Metropolitano and material analysis of extant prints, the paper presents the life and work of the only known woman printmaker in viceregal New Spain, María Augustina Meza. It traces Meza and her work through two marriages to fellow engravers and a 50-year career as owner of an independent print publishing shop in Mexico City. In doing so, the paper places Meza’s print publishing business and its practices within the context of artists’ shops run by women in the mid- to late-eighteenth century. The article simultaneously extends the recognized role of women in printing and broadens our understanding of women within the business of both printmaking and painting in late colonial Mexico City. It furthermore joins the scholarship demonstrating with new empirical research that the lived realities of women in viceregal New Spain were more complex than traditional, stereotypical visions of women’s lives have previously allowed. Full article
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