The Art of Painting in Colonial Quito / El Arte De Lapintura En Quito Colonial

By Bargellini, Clara | The Catholic Historical Review, April 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Art of Painting in Colonial Quito / El Arte De Lapintura En Quito Colonial


Bargellini, Clara, The Catholic Historical Review


The Art of Painting in Colonial Quito / El arte de la pintura en Quito colonial. Edited by Suzanne L. Stratton-Pruitt; organized by Judy de Bustamante. [Early Modern Catholicism and the Visual Arts Series, Vol. 6.] (Philadelphia: St. Joseph's University Press. 2012. Pp. xiv, 223. S75.00. ISBN 978-0-91610169-5.)

This is a remarkable publication, and yet another example of the contributions of the St. Joseph's University Press to studies of important yet little known Latin American visual materials. In this handsome volume, a selection of more than eighty paintings from late-sixteenth- to early-nineteenth-century Quito are presented in excellent reproductions, with an informative historical introduction by Carmen Fernández Salvador and explanatory texts in both English and Spanish. A bibliography and an index of proper names complete the book. The general idea of the editor, Suzanne L. Stratton-Pruitt, and the organizer, Judy de Bustamante, was to present these paintings in the guise of a virtual exhibition. The paintings are in mostly chronological order, and each is discussed by one of a team of scholars. Stratton-Pruitt is well known for her contributions to projects on Latin American colonial painting and has worked on major museum exhibitions of these types of materials, so this "exhibition" in a book is an obvious solution to the basic problems presented by these paintings: how to make them more widely known so that they may be better studied and adequately conserved. The fact that Ecuadorian scholars and institutions collaborated in this project will help achieve these goals.

What first strikes the reader is the high quality of these works. Many are truly outstanding. Although the names of a few artists are known in the field of Quito paintings-Miguel de Santiago immediately comes to mind-it is astounding that most of the works presented in this book are by still anonymous masters. …

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