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". 
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 Bedón 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. 
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.
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).
Other typical characteristics include:
The features indicating its indigenous roots include:
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 Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, known simply as la Catedral, is the Catholic cathedral in Quito, Ecuador. Located on the southwestern side of the Plaza de la Independencia, it served as a seat of the Diocese of Quito from 1545 until 1848 when it was elevated to Archdiocese. In 1995, it was elevated to the Cathedral of Ecuador, making it the seniormost Catholic church in the country.
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 architectural styles. The Church houses the city's beloved Virgin of Quito (1734).
Bernardo de Legarda was one of the most important artists of the Quito School movement.
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The Virgin of Quito — also known as the Virgin of the Apocalypse, Winged Virgin of Quito, Dancing Madonna, and Legarda's Virgin — is a wooden sculpture by the Quiteño artist Bernardo de Legarda which has become the most representative example of the Quito School of art, developed in the Ecuadorian capital during the Spanish colonial era. This particular Virgin became a popular cult image which is still venerated — via innumerable replicas — throughout the northern Andes.
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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.
María Angélica Idrobo was an Ecuadorian writer and feminist activist.
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