Indo-Christian Art by Constantino Reyes-Valerio
The new book on Indo-Christian Art contains several years of reflexion and research over the footprints left by the Indians of the New Spain in the Art of the XVI Century. There exist very few sources that give credit to the intelligence, sensibility, enthusiasm and craftsmanship of the Indians involved in the construction and decoration of the Convents and Temples of the New Spain. This book contains the history of those footprints of the past, welded as silent testimony of the Indians artistic activity in the disturbed Colonial world. The history is also a struggle between Indians and Friars; the slow imposition of the European culture, pregnant of medieval resources that cannot be forgotten if we are to understand the men that were immersed in that painful and yet emotional contact. The lack of an adequate appraisal of the artistic work of the Indian in the XVI century and the extraordinary interest drawn by every manifestation of the Indians' presence paved the way for this work that include Sculpture and Painting; two unquestionable expressions of Indo-Christian Art, the magnificent legacy of the Indian of the Eternal Mexico.
Mexico-Tenochtitlan was doomed to be the scenery where two cultures would clash in the XVI Century. Spaniards had war techniques that enabled them to defeat the once mighty Aztec Empire.
Soldiers, horses, rats, fire weapons and many diseases were seen in the Americas for the first time, and with some years later, group of friars arrived with the challenge of turning the native indians into the Christian Faith.
Franciscans, Dominics and Agustinians introduce the native indians, not only their religious beliefs, but the European arts and aesthetics. Hand to hand, they learned about each other in a cultural exchage that gave birth to what we know as:
Indo-Christian Art(english version : Conference at Birbeck College, University of London )
There are very few sources that give credit to the intelligence, sensibility, enthusiasm and craftsmanship of the Indians involved in the construction and decoration of the Convents and Temples of the New Spain. Through a Scientific study of the sources, and the huge legacy of Indians, Constantino Reyes-Valerio presents the book: