About the Exhibition

Began 24 NOVEMBER 2015 Ended 03 JANUARY 2016

A Colonial Traveller


Closed Began 24 NOVEMBER 2015 Ended 03 JANUARY 2016

  • Hours Tuesday to Friday 12.30 to 8.30 pm and Saturday and Sunday 9.30 to 20.30 Hs.
  • Room Room 21 "Nación y Cosmopolitismo. La pintura española" (ground floor)
  • Curator Roberto Amigo

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A Colonial Traveller, Unpublished Watercolors of the "Rio de la Plata".
On 24th November at 19.00 Hs. in room 21 on the ground floor.

In 1943, Alejo Gonzalez Garaño wrote about the argentinian iconography before 1820: "It is one of the rarest of South America". The unpublished watercolors presented here modify the judgment. They presented the recognition of types and customs of a country that had been subject recently to a new administrative organization in 1776: the "The Vicerpyalty of the Río de la Plata". This stimulated the constant need for information both the Spanish bureaucracy as mercantile expansion. These watercolors were probably formed the project of an illustrated album of Spanish traveler, who travels from Buenos Aires to the High Peru, including Paraguay. The set has the power of a visual report: part of the collection of information, transfer of knowledge and practice of control over the territories.

The equestrian portraits of the leaders of indigenous rebellions, defeated in 1781, and mention one of the texts the Viceroy Juan Jose de Vertiz (1778-1784) indicate a time limit for its completion. They have been made probably before 1806, and that are not listed regiments formed during the British invasions.
These watercolors, well preserved, offer notable for the study of the origin of the "gaucho", the society, work of the plebeian classes, afro-americans and indigenous groups, among others contribution. 

References to Buenos Aires, Paraguay, Peru and Cochabamba involve large regions rather than a location. Nor is it possible to rule out the intervention of more than an illustrator, we perceive changes in the animals, subtle variations in shading techniques, perhaps a workshop that follows common patterns of work on previous models.

It is interesting to note the use of different terms to nominate rural areas as camiluchos, peons and gauchos; issue that puts us in a transit time between the colony and the Republican era.

Roberto Amigo