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From the Jordan River to Lake Titicaca: Paintings of the Baptism of Christ in Colonial Andean Churches

  • Ananda Cohen Suarez (a1)

The arts of the colonial Andes bear witness to a complex and contested story of evangelization that involved a variety of actors, including priests, artists, indigenous congregations, and confraternities. Sculptures of saints, sumptuous retablos (altarpieces), canvas paintings with elaborate gilded frames, and mural cycles devoted to a variety of biblical themes were employed in the religious instruction of indigenous communities, and as catalysts for sensorial modes of communication. The visual arts provided a tangible analogue to sermons and printed catechisms, offering parishioners a lens through which to envision the sacred. Adapted from European iconographic models and infused with local references and symbolism, religious art throughout the colonial Americas introduced new visual vocabularies to indigenous congregations, who quickly became conversant in these images of conversion.

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The Americas
  • ISSN: 0003-1615
  • EISSN: 1533-6247
  • URL: /core/journals/americas
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