North America c. 1500 - 1900

New Spain (Spanish colonies)

New Spain consisted of Mexico, much of Central America, parts of the West Indies, from California to Florida, and the Philippines.

1521 - 1821 C.E.

videos + essays

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Mission churches as theaters of conversion in New Spain
Mission churches as theaters of conversion in New Spain

Built by Catholic monks to convert the indigenous population, these spaces combined pre-Hispanic and European forms.

Murals from New Spain, San Agustín de Acolman
Murals from New Spain, San Agustín de Acolman

Why are these murals in the cloister of Acolman painted in only black and white?

<em>Crowned Nun Portrait of Sor María de Guadalupe</em>
Crowned Nun Portrait of Sor María de Guadalupe

The Conceptionists were founded for elite, pure-blooded Spanish women. This nun just took her vows.

The manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal
The manuscripts of Luis de Carvajal

The beguiling—and tragic—story of the Carvajal family of crypto-Jews, is illuminated by the manuscripts Luis made.

Miguel González, <em>The Virgin of Guadalupe</em>
Miguel González, The Virgin of Guadalupe

The original image of the Virgin of Guadalupe was miraculously produced—this mother-of-pearl version was man-made.

Vigée Le Brun, <em>Self-Portrait with her Daughter</em>
Vigée Le Brun, Self-Portrait with her Daughter

Artificial? Moi? This genuine portrait of familial affection challenged assumptions about the aristocracy.

Baltasar de Echave Ibía, <em>The Hermits</em>
Baltasar de Echave Ibía, The Hermits

A continuous narrative, this shows three different parts of the story, each in a different part of the landscape.

New Spain, an introduction
New Spain, an introduction

The Spanish reused the stones of pagan temples to build their new capital atop the Aztec city, Tenochtitlan.

Biombo with the Conquest of Mexico and View of Mexico City
Biombo with the Conquest of Mexico and View of Mexico City

This screen offers an idealized bird’s eye view of Mexico City on one side, and depicts the Conquest on the other.

Miguel Cabrera, <em>Virgin of the Apocalypse</em>
Miguel Cabrera, Virgin of the Apocalypse

Cabrera fancied himself the Michelangelo of Mexico, but chose to borrow the format and iconography of Rubens.

Atrial Cross at Acolman
Atrial Cross at Acolman

The convento atrium was a place for preaching. This cross taught new converts about Christianity.

Featherworks: The Mass of St. Gregory
Featherworks: The Mass of St. Gregory

This remarkable object takes its subject from European prints, but was made by an indigenous artist.

Selected Contributors | New Spain (Spanish colonies)