Property from the Collection of Jenny Musatti, São Paulo
Until 1650, Cuzco painting followed the manner of the High Renaissance: monumental and enlarged figures dressed in voluminous clothes, presented either in small groups on neutral backgrounds or in large, crowded scenes that cover almost the entire canvas. Engravings of complex sacred allegories and emblems, produced in the Flemish, French, or Italian workshops, spread throughout the Americas to support the propaganda of the church of the Counterreformation. These models inspired the approaches to landscape, urban scenes, perspective, and architectural interiors among Andean painters. The palette, limited to ochre, yellow, blue, and intense red, became increasingly complex and was enriched by the use of gold to re-create the luster of jewels and the rich and varied textures of cloth.The style, with its unique mix of Spanish and indigenous elements, flourished until the last quarter of the 18th century when a current of neoclassicism invaded Latin America along with the official academies, and the great days of Spanish colonial architecture were over.