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Art, Architecture, and Religious Orders in the Latin Americas: From Quebec to Quito
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Art, Architecture, and Religious Orders in the Latin Americas
From Quebec to Quito
Painting of the Kingdoms: Shared Identities; Territories of the Spanish Monarchy, 16th–18th centuries. 4 volumes. Edited by Juana Gutiérrez Haces; introduction by Jonathan Brown. Mexico City: Fomento Cultural Banamex, 2008–2009. Pp. xlviii + 1503. $400.00 cloth. ISBN: 9786077612063.
Les arts en Nouvelle-France. Edited by Laurier Lacroix. Quebec City: Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, 2012. Pp. 296. $59.95 paper. ISBN: 9782551252114.
Jesuiten aus Zentraleuropa in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika: Ein bio-bibliographisches Handbuch. Band II: Chile (1618–1771). Edited by Johannes Meier and Michael Müller. Münster: Aschendorff, 2011. Pp. 1 + 458. $60.00 cloth. ISBN: 9783402117897.
Jesuiten aus Zentraleuropa in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika: Ein bio-bibliographisches Handbuch. Band III: Neugranada (1618–1771). Edited by Johannes Meier and Christoph Nebgen. Münster: Aschendorff, 2008. Pp. xxxvi + 244. $60.00 cloth. ISBN: 9783402117880.
The Art of Painting in Colonial Quito / El arte de la pintura en Quito colonial. Edited by Susanne L. Stratton-Pruitt. Philadelphia: St Joseph’s University Press, 2012. Pp. xii + 337. $75.00 cloth. ISBN: 978091601695.
Imágenes guaraní-jesuíticas: Paraguay, Argentina, Brasil. By Bozidar Darko Sustersic. Asunción, Paraguay: Centro de Artes Visuales / Museo del Barro, 2010. Pp. 421. ISBN: 9789995386948.
Quito, ciudad de maestros: Arquitectos, edificios y urbanismo en el largo siglo XVII. By Susan V. Webster. Quito: Abya-Yala, 2012. Pp. viii + 298. $40.00 cloth. ISBN: 9789942090706.

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The past four years have witnessed a sea change in the scholarship on viceregal Iberian American art history as well as that of the other Latin America, Nouvelle-France. Although the literature on Iberian America continues to focus mainly on the traditional New Spain/Cuzco/Lima corridor, new monographs on the arts of Quito (two in 2012 alone, The Art of Painting in Colonial Quito; and Quito, ciudad de maestros) and Paraguay (Imágenes guaraní-jesuíticas, 2010), as well as superlative archival studies of the impact of non-Spanish Jesuit priests and brothers—many of them craftsmen and architects—on Nueva Granada and Chile (Jesuiten aus Zentraleuropa in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika, volumes 2 and 3, 2011Jesuiten aus Zentraleuropa in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika, volumes 2 and 3, 2008) are demanding that scholars no longer treat those regions as marginal to the field. Likewise, a major four-volume compendium of the painting of the Spanish Empire (Painting of the Kingdoms, 2008) has focused new attention on transatlantic themes, looking at artistic interaction within the entire Spanish Empire, including the Americas, Flanders, Portugal (under the Spanish monarchy between 1580 and 1640), and Southern Italy, although regrettably neglecting the Philippines. Similarly, colonial Québécois art history, hitherto virtually unknown outside the province and subject primarily to survey treatments, now takes its place on the hemispheric stage with a thematic, intelligent, and visually rich exhibition and companion volume from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quebec City (Les arts en Nouvelle-France, 2012) that compels us to acknowledge the commonalities of the arts and visual culture of this region and those of its Catholic counterparts to the south.

Although wide ranging, the volumes of Painting of the Kingdoms—published in advance of a blockbuster exhibition at the Prado and Palacio Nacional in Madrid (2010–2011)—fall short of being encyclopaedic, since the project limits itself primarily to pre–Bourbon era painting and concentrates on Europe, Mexico, and Peru despite brief forays into Brazil, Quito, and Nueva Granada. Its main theme, that the Spanish Crown and the Catholic Church were “agents of unity” (25) in the Americas, risks turning into a celebration of European sovereignty, but enough of the chapters focus on regional variations that it avoids falling into that trap. Each volume takes a different theme, with some overlap. The first, One King, Many Kingdoms: New Perspectives, considers global interaction and the notion of a new artistic language arising from contact between dialects. The second, The Kingdoms and Painting, features surveys of painting in Spain, Italy, New Spain, Peru, and Luso-Brazil (mostly Portugal) and is useful in illuminating the diversity within these regions. The...