The Quito School (Escuela Quiteña) is a Latin American artistic tradition that constitutes essentially the whole of the professional artistic output developed in the territory of the Royal Audience of Quito — from Pasto and Popayán in the north to Piura and Cajamarca in the south — during the Spanish colonial period (1542-1824).It is especially associated with the 17th and 18th centuries and was almost exclusively focused on the religious art of the Catholic Church in the country. Characterized by a mastery of the realistic and by the degree to which indigenous beliefs and artistic traditions are evident, these productions were among of the most important activities in the economy of the Royal Audience of Quito. Such was the prestige of the movement even in Europe that it was said that King Carlos III of Spain (1716–1788), referring to one of its sculptors in particular, opined: "I am not concerned that Italy has Michelangelo; in my colonies of America I have the master Caspicara".
Popayán is the capital of the Colombian department of Cauca. It is located in southwestern Colombia between the Western Mountain Range and Central Mountain Range. It has a population of 258,653 people, an area of 483 km2, is located 1760 meters above sea level, and has an average temperature of 18 °C.
Piura is a city in northwestern Peru located in the Sechura Desert on the Piura River. It is the capital of the Piura Region and the Piura Province. Its population was 484,475 as of 2017.
Cajamarca, also known by the Cajamarca Quechua name, Kashamarka, is the capital and largest city of the Cajamarca Region as well as an important cultural and commercial center in the northern Andes. It is located in the northern highlands of Peru at approximately 2,750 m (8,900 ft) above sea level in the valley of the Mashcon river. Cajamarca had an estimated population of about 226,031 inhabitants in 2015, making it the 13th largest city in Peru.
The Quito School originated in the school of Artes y Oficios, founded in 1552 by the Franciscan priest Jodoco Ricke, who together with Friar Pedro Bedon transformed the San Andrés seminary, where the first indigenous artists were trained. As a cultural expression, it is the result of a long process of acculturation between indigenous peoples and Europeans, and it is one of the richest expressions of miscegenation (mestizaje) and of syncretism, in which the participation of the vanquished Indian is seemingly of minor importance as compared to the dominant European contribution.
Mestizo or mestiza is a term historically used in Spain, Spanish America and the Philippines that originally referred to a person of combined European and Indigenous American descent, regardless of where the person was born. The term was used as an ethnic/racial category for mixed-race castas that evolved during the Spanish Empire. Although broadly speaking, Mestizo means someone of mixed European/indigenous heritage, and usually for someone considered a plebeian, the term did not have a fixed meaning in the colonial period. It was a formal label for individuals in official documentation, such as censuses, parish registers, Inquisition trials, and other matters. Individuals were labeled by priests and royal officials as mestizos, but the term was also used for self identification.
Syncretism is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture as well as politics.
As a product of cultural syncretism and miscegenation, the works of the Quito School are characterized by the combination and adaptation of European and Indigenous features. In its development, it reflected the styles prevailing in each period of Spain and thus contains renaissance and mannerist elements. During its height, it was eminently baroque, concluding with a short rococo period leading to an incipient neoclassicism until the transition to the republican period. The Quito School also incorporated Flemish, Italian, and Moorish influences.
Miscegenation is a term given to the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, or procreation, particularly mixing that is perceived to negatively impact the purity of a particular race or culture. Anti-miscegenation is a prominent theme of racial supremacist movements, including white supremacy.
The Renaissance was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to Modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. In addition to the standard periodization, proponents of a long Renaissance put its beginning in the 14th century and its end in the 17th century. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages.
Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style largely replaced it. Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century.
One of the common characteristics of the school is the technique of encarnado ("flesh-colored") — the simulation of the color of the flesh of the (European) human body — that makes the skin of sculptures appear more natural. Once the piece was perfectly cut and sanded, an artisan covered the wood with several layers of gesso with glue. Each layer was highly polished to achieve a perfectly smooth finish. Next, color was applied in various transparent layers, allowing an optical mix of overlapping colors. This began with the colors of shadows (blue, green, ocher), then light colors were applied (white, pink, yellow). and finally highlight colors were added (orange and red to cheeks, knees, and elbows of children; and dark blue, green, and violet for wounds and bruises of Christ or for stubble on a beardless figure).
Gesso is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these. It is used in artwork as a preparation for any number of substrates such as wood panels, canvas and sculpture as a base for paint and other materials that are applied over it.
Other typical characteristics include:
Gold leaf is gold that has been hammered into thin sheets by goldbeating and is often used for gilding. Gold leaf is available in a wide variety of karats and shades. The most commonly used gold is 22-karat yellow gold.
The features indicating its indigenous roots include:
Vincente Albán was an Ecuadorian painter, member of the Quito School, noted for his idealized paintings of indigenous and Hispanic American-born people in their native outfits. These paintings display a variety of social classes and information on the clothing of the time. Exploring Colonial Hispanic American culture, his work was commissioned by José Celestino Mutis, who wanted to bring local flora into the mind of the country. The paintings were created via an oil on canvas technique. Paintings of this era such as this were often used as a method of showing American territory and the resources it provides. People shown in Albáns work were shown wearing gold and silver to demonstrate the continents wealth.
Isabel de Cisneros was a Spanish colonial painter born in the colony of Quito (Ecuador). She was the daughter of Miguel de Santiago, one of the most famous colonial Quito School painters. Often referred to as Isabel de Santiago, she however identified herself by Cisneros, a name she inherited from her mother.
The Viceroyalty of Peru was a Spanish imperial provincial administrative district, created in 1542, that originally contained modern-day Peru and most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. Peru was one of the two Spanish Viceroyalties in the Americas from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.
Atahualpa, also Atabalica, Atahuallpa, Atabalipa or Atawallpa (Quechua) was the last Inca Emperor. After defeating his brother, Atahualpa became very briefly the last Sapa Inca of the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu) before the Spanish conquest ended his reign.
Eduardo Kingman Riofrío was one of Ecuador's greatest artists of the 20th century, among the art circles of other master artists such as Oswaldo Guayasamin and Camilo Egas.
Francisco Javier Eugenio de Santa Cruz y Espejo was a medical pioneer, writer and lawyer of mestizo origin in colonial Ecuador. Although he was a notable scientist and writer, he stands out as a polemicist who inspired the separatist movement in Quito. He is regarded as one of the most important figures in colonial Ecuador. He was Quito's first journalist and hygienist.
A décima is a ten-line stanza of poetry, and the song form generally consists of forty-four lines. It is also called "espinela" after its founder, Vicente Espinel (1550–1624), a Spanish writer and musician of the Siglo de Oro.
The Church and Convent of St. Francis, commonly known as el San Francisco, is a 16th-century Roman Catholic complex in Quito, Ecuador. It fronts onto its namesake Plaza de San Francisco. The imposing structure has the distinction of being the largest architectural ensemble among the historical structures of colonial Latin America and for this reason is sometimes known as "El Escorial of the New World". The style evolved over almost 143 years of construction (1537-1680) through earthquakes and changes in artistic fashion. The Church houses the city's beloved Virgin of Quito (1734).
Fernando Jurado Noboa is an Ecuadorian psychiatrist, historian and genealogist.
Eduardo Estrella Aguirre was an Ecuadorian doctor and researcher who published Flora Huayaquilensis: The Botanical Expedition of Juan Tafalla 1799-1808.
Instituto Nacional Mejía is a public secondary educational institution of Quito, capital city of Ecuador. It was founded on June 1, 1897 by Mr Eloy Alfaro Delgado, then president of Ecuador.
Andean Baroque is an artistic movement that appeared in colonial Peru between 1680 and 1780. It is located geographically between Arequipa and Lake Titicaca in what is now Peru and Bolivia, where rules over the highlands and spreads over the entire altiplano. From the Portuguese word barrueco meaning impure, mottled, flamboyant, daring, the most striking example of Andean Baroque art is in religious architecture, where indigenous craftsmen gave it a unique character, as happened in the New Spanish Baroque.
Chilote School of Religious Imagery —Spanish: Escuela chilota de Imaginería Religiosa—, is an artistic and cultural manifestation that was developed during the 17th century on the basis of the circular movement of evangelizing established by the Jesuit missionaries, and reaches its climax in the late 19th century.
Manuel Chili – known as Caspicara – was an Ecuadorian sculptor who exemplified the Quito School movement of the 18th century Andes. His major religious works, characterized by polychromed wood sculptures in an elegant Spanish Baroque style, are preserved in the Quito Cathedral and the Church of San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, and in Popayán, Colombia. His work was rediscovered in 1791 and championed by Eugenio Espejo, then the country's leading intellectual.
Fray José María Vargas Arévalo O.P. (1902–1988) was an Ecuadorian Dominican friar, writer, and historian.
Luz Argentina Chiriboga is an Afro-Ecuadorian writer who was one of the first writers to address the duality African and Hispanic cultures. In her poetry and novels, she writes about women in ways that challenge preconceived stereotypes. Her short story "El Cristo de la mirada baja" won first prize in 1986 in the International Literary Contest of the Liberator General San Martín held in Buenos Aires.
Quilago (1485–1515) was a chieftainess or queen regnant of the Cochasquí in Ecuador, famed for her defense of the Cochasquí against the expansion of the Inca Empire.
Luz Elisa Borja Martínez was an Ecuadorian poet, pianist, painter, and sculptor.
María Luisa Gómez de la Torre Páez was an Ecuadorian feminist, educator, and activist. She was a pioneer in the struggle for the rights of the indigenous peoples and peasants in Ecuador. She was the first woman to serve as a teacher for boys in Quito.
María Manuela Dominga de Espejo y Aldaz, known as Manuela de la Santa Cruz y Espejo was an Ecuadorian journalist, nurse, feminist, and revolutionary. She was the sister of Eugenio Espejo, with whom she discussed and shared Enlightenment and revolutionary, pro-revolutionary thought and ideas.
Luis Enrique Marcial Gomezjurado Flores was an Ecuadorian painter, one of the most notable academic artists of the first decades of the 20th century. He specialized in the human figure and excelled in the portrait, also highlighted in Genre painting.