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.

c. 1521–1821 C.E.

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Columbus's voyage marked an important moment for both Europe and the Americas—expanding the known world on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and ushering in an era of major transformations in the cultures and lives of people across the globe.

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The art of the viceroyalty of New Spain
The art of the viceroyalty of New Spain

The objects in this chapter originate in, were exported to, and depict peoples originating in the Viceroyalty of New Spain, showcasing the remarkable art created at the crux of a multi-ethnic trans-oceanic encounter.

“Burning of the Idols,” in Diego Muñoz Camargo’s <em>Description of the City and Province of Tlaxcala</em>
“Burning of the Idols,” in Diego Muñoz Camargo’s Description of the City and Province of Tlaxcala

After the Spanish invasions in Mexico, many objects associated with Indigenous religion and knowledge were burned or destroyed.

Talavera poblana
Talavera poblana

Talavera poblana, the distinct blue-and-white ceramics from Puebla Mexico, have a complex and fascinating history of transpacific and transatlantic connections.

Escudos de monjas, or nuns’ badges, in New Spain
Escudos de monjas, or nuns’ badges, in New Spain

Escudos de monjas are an important genre of art made in the viceroyalty of New Spain, one that gives us a glimpse into how nuns fashioned themselves.

Miguel de Herrera, <em>Portrait of a Lady</em>
Miguel de Herrera, Portrait of a Lady

Taking inspiration from European portraits, this painting shows off the wealth of the sitter in colonial Mexico with her elaborate fashion

José Campeche, <em>Exvoto de la Sagrada Familia</em>
José Campeche, Exvoto de la Sagrada Familia

This small painting contains one of the only known depictions of Black, enslaved figures from the Spanish Caribbean during the colonial era (1492–1898).

José Campeche, the portraitist of 18th-century Puerto Rico
José Campeche, the portraitist of 18th-century Puerto Rico

As Puerto Rico’s most sought-after painter in the late 18th and early 19th century, José Campeche y Jordán holds an important and singular space in the art history of the Spanish Caribbean.

José Campeche y Jordán, <em>Portrait of Governor Ramón de Castro</em>
José Campeche y Jordán, Portrait of Governor Ramón de Castro

The well-regarded Puerto Rican artist José Campeche was commissioned by the city of San Juan to commemorate Castro's successful defense of the city from British troops in 1797. 

Images of Africans in the Codex Telleriano Remensis and Codex Azcatitlan
Images of Africans in the Codex Telleriano Remensis and Codex Azcatitlan

Indigenous artists in Mexico portrays the first images of Black Africans in the Americas.

La Casa del Deán in Puebla
La Casa del Deán in Puebla

What remains of the Casa del Deán is an outstanding example of renaissance architecture and murals made in the viceroyalty of New Spain.

Puebla de los Ángeles and the classical architectural tradition
Puebla de los Ángeles and the classical architectural tradition

The importance of classical architecture to Puebla’s 16th- and 17th-century colonial history helps to reframe our understanding of the renaissance as it has been traditionally understood.

<em>Screen with the Siege of Belgrade and Hunting Scene</em> (or <em>Brooklyn Biombo</em>)
Screen with the Siege of Belgrade and Hunting Scene (or Brooklyn Biombo)

Japanese objects came through Mexico on their way to Spain, and had a lasting impact on the arts of the Americas.

Selected Contributors