Cuzco School

The Spanish, who aimed to convert the Incas to Catholicism during the Colonial period sent a group of religious artists to Cusco, Peru. These artists formed The Cusco School, a school for Quechua people and mestizos, teaching them drawing and oil painting in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

The Cusco School of painting is one of the most uniquely South American styles of painting to come out of the Spanish colonies. The Cuzquena paintings are exclusively a form of religious art whose main purpose was didactic, often characterized by their lack of perspective, their predominance of red, yellow and earth colors. They are also remarkable for their lavish use of gold leaf, especially with the image of the Virgin Mary.

Most Cuzquena paintings were created anonymously because of Pre-Columbian traditions that define art as communal.

The collection of paintings showcased in this exhibit are all anonymous and originals from the colonial period, precisely from the 17th and 18th century.

Artist's Work