|Artist||Unknown artist, Cuzco School of Painting|
|Title||Madonna and Child|
This painting of the "Madonna and Child" is a delicate work that showcases the synthesis of European iconography and Andean styles found in the Cuzco School. The lavish piece was probably modeled after works such as the "Madonna and Child" which presents these heavenly personages in a manner that follows the traditional depiction of Mary as the "Good Mother."
Also typical of European iconography are the grapes to which the Christ Child points, which not only refer to the Eucharist, but may also relate to another plant--based motif the personification of Mary as the "true vine" found in both Isaiah and Genesis-with Christ symbolizing the ripening fruit. Following Cuzqueno traditions, the Virgin and Child are depicted in a palette of red, yellow and earth tones. The "embroidered" floral and vegetal motifs in the robe, along with the stars and aura-meaningful to both Christian and pre-Columbian societies -were applied through the technique of brocateado or sombreado found in Cuzqueno paintings, in which patterns were determined by plantillas or stencils and painted free-hand when imperfections needed correction. These floral motifs and stars are related to the Inca worship of nature and Mother Earth, Pachamama; the gold of the embroidery stands for the Sun (Inti), sacred to the Incas. The work is displayed in a facsimile reproduction because it is currently being restored by conservator Alexander Katlan, as its long-term survival is at risk. Time has been unkind and the painting has suffered structural damage, surface losses, cracking, flaking, and staining, as well as discoloration and abrasion. These factors have not only changed the physical qualities of the painting but render it unstable and vulnerable. The present restoration of the work will ensure the preservation of a rich cultural heritage for future educational and research purposes.
* Arianne Fernandez, in "SCHOLARS, EXPLORERS, PRIESTS, How the Renaissance Gave Us the Modern World," ex. cat. G -T M, Queens College, CUNY, February 2 - March 27, 2010, 50.
|Medium/Material||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||H-23 W-17 inches|
|Year Range from||1700|
|Year Range to||1799|
18th century AD
Madonna and Child
|Exhibition and Publication History||
* "Natural and Supernatural: Andean Textiles and Material Culture," G -T M, Queens College, CUNY, September 8 - October 24, 2009.
* "SCHOLARS, EXPLORERS, PRIESTS, How the Renaissance Gave Us the Modern World," Curated by James M. Saslow, G -T M, Queens College, CUNY, February 2 - March 27, 2010, # 50, ill.