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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Engravings in Diego de Valadés’s <em>Rhetorica Christiana</em>
Engravings in Diego de Valadés’s Rhetorica Christiana

The first book ever printed by an American author was Rhetorica Christiana by Diego de Valadés, who was born in Mexico to a Spanish conquistador father and an indigenous mother.

Classical Architecture in Viceregal Mexico
Classical Architecture in Viceregal Mexico

Find out what happens to classical Renaissance architecture when it arrives in New Spain.

The Bug That Had the World Seeing Red
The Bug That Had the World Seeing Red

Once there was a color so valuable that emperors and conquistadors coveted it, and so did kings and cardinals. Artists went wild over it. Pirates ransacked ships for it.

The Medici collect the Americas
The Medici collect the Americas

After Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492, items from the Americas were shipped to Europe where they were perceived as exotic items of wonder and fascination.

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.

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.

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