Paper Proposal Assignment
1. The paper type that I have selected is (delete whichever option you don’t plan to
Pre-Colonial Thematic Proposal. If a thematic exhibit, what theme:
Pre-Columbian Media Proposal. What medium? And what 2-3 periods will you
focus on as you discuss that medium.
Colonial Thematic Exhibit Proposal. If a thematic exhibit, what theme:
2. List below three images that you will include in your paper (include title, date, and
geographic location). Also include page number in your textbook or an URL if the image
isn’t in your book.
3. List below three of the sources that you plan to use for research. Use proper Chicago
Manual of Style Formatting.
Art 304 Fall 2018
Due December 11 by 2:30pm
The Topic—All papers are to be a minimum of 5 pages in length (maximum of 8) (these
pages include the text of the paper and the footnotes) written in the format of a research
paper with proper citations. In addition to the 5-8 page paper, all papers must include a
cover page, a complete bibliography, and an appendix of images referred to in the text.
Although you may use some structures/objects presented in class for any of the options
below, this is not necessary. Your paper should be formatted as a letter to a museum
proposing that they fund and display your exhibit.
The topic: choose one of the two options below:
1. Pre-Colonial Thematic Exhibit Proposal: Choose 6-8 works of art/architecture that you
feel best represent some aspect of life in either Mesoamerica or South America prior to
the European Conquest. Examples might include—Tombs and burials, temples and
rituals, homes and everyday life, portrayals of kings, etc. Use your selected objects to
explain that aspect of life in either Mesoamerica or South America. Please note: I don’t
recommend combining these two regions for your exhibit proposal.
2. Pre-Columbian Media Exhibit Proposal: Choose a medium (ceramics, painting,
textiles, etc.) used by multiple pre-Columbian cultures in either South or Central
America. Assemble an exhibit of 6-9 works made in this medium that will best allow
you to discuss the changes (and similarities) in technique, function, etc. of this medium
across the different pre-Columbian cultures that you selected (Pick 2-3—no more than
3). For example, you might choose to examine textile production in South America,
focusing on the Paracas, Moche and Inca cultures. Please note: I don’t recommend
combining these two regions for your exhibit proposal.
3. Colonial Thematic Exhibit Proposal: Choose 6-8 works of art/architecture that you feel
best represent some aspect of colonial life. Examples might include—Art of the
Cathedral, Art of the Monastery, Domestic life, Conversion of Indigenous, etc. Use
your selected objects to explain the various aspects of that part of colonial life.
For all papers: At least half (3 or 4) of these objects/structures should not be on your image
lists/ in your book. Any images included in your image list/book, must be discussed in
greater detail than they were in class/book (in other words, you need to do research on
them that extends beyond your notes and textbooks). Your discussion of the objects in the
paper should address content, style, medium and technique. You do not need to address
each of these aspects with each object, but all should be addressed by the time that you
have discussed your 6-8 works. In other words, your first image might be a perfect example
of the medium, technique and style used during the Aztec period. Your second and third
examples might then move on to examine the historical context in which art was used by
the Aztecs, etc.
Paper Proposal—Is due on Tuesday, October 23. You will submit this through Canvas.
More details about the proposal requirements may be found on Canvas.
The Final Paper—Your final paper should include the following:
1. Cover page with title, paper topic selected (exhibit proposal or comparative paper),
name, date, class.
2. The paper ☺
3. Bibliography of all works consulted (aside from those only used for their images).
4. Appendix of Images.
5. NOTE—The cover page, bibliography and images DO NOT count toward the fivepage minimum.
6. You will upload all of these as a single file to Canvas.
Citation and Bibliography Guidelines
❖ All citations in the paper should follow the Chicago Manual of Style (footnotes).
❖ The bibliography should be formatted according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
❖ The bibliography should include a minimum of 8 sources. At least 5 of these
should be print sources. Textbooks (for this class or art history survey textbooks)
do not count toward the minimum number of sources.
❖ While you may use some internet sources for your information, they must be
reliable sources (no Wikipedia). For more on distinguishing reliable sources from
unreliable sources, see this website from the University of California, Berkley:
Image Page Guidelines
❖ Images that you refer to in your paper should be included at the end of the paper.
These may be black and white or color images. There may be up to two images on
❖ Ordering the images: The images should be in the order that they appear in your
paper and be labeled Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.
❖ Captions: Each image should include a caption with the figure number followed by
a brief caption and a citation for the source of the image. (For example, Figure 1:
Leonardo da Vinci, The Mona Lisa, 1503-1505. www.websiteyouused.com)
❖ When you refer to the images in the text of your paper, you should refer to them
by their title and put the figure number in parenthesis following the sentence in
which you mentioned the figure. Correct: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa displays
the fashion of the time by having shaved her eyebrows (Figure 1). Incorrect: Figure
1 shows the fashion of the time through Mona Lisa’s shaved eyebrows. Provide
parenthetical references to figure numbers only as often as you need to in order to
❖ All portions of the written assignment must be typed. Use a standard font (Times
New Roman, 12 point or something of equivalent size). It should be double-spaced
and use 1-inch margins.
❖ All written portions of this project must use standard English grammar, correct
spelling, and be well organized. I encourage you to seek assistance from the SVSU
❖ Very important--Spell check and proofread all written portions of your project. Use
your computer to help you, but print your papers and read them for errors before
submitting them. Papers that have not undergone a careful proofreading and spellchecking process may receive a “0” at the discretion of the instructor.
❖ Also very important—Plagiarized papers will not be tolerated. Students who
plagiarize will receive a “0” for the assignment and will be reported to the
Coordinator of Student Conduct. For a definition of plagiarism, please see:
Handing in the Paper
❖ The paper is due by 2:30pm on Tuesday, December 11.
❖ Submit paper through Canvas.
❖ No late papers will be accepted.
SAGINAW VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
THE CUZCO SCHOOL: 18th CENTURY SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS ARTS
THEMATIC EXHIBIT PROPOSAL
EMILY MARIE SOVEY
December 11, 2012
To Whom It May Concern,
The art of the colonial period in Latin America can be separated into two differing
branches of production: those done by artists of European descent and indigenous artists.
European painters were trained in the traditional style of Renaissance; and as the years
progressed, they were influenced by Baroque, Mannerism, and then Rococo. The eighteenth
century saw the manifestation of the Rococo style in Colonial Latin America, albeit with some
changes from local cultural influence. The other artists, however, were natives of the land and
so brought forth in their works some of the styles and traditions that were a part of their
cultures. The Cuzco School was perhaps the most famous guild of anonymous indigenous
artists, located in Cuzco, Peru. During early colonization, this school was formed by monks who
wanted to further the education of indigenous people through the production of art. As the
school grew, and the indigenous converted to Christianity, art became a medium through which
these artists could celebrate their religious beliefs.1 During the seventeenth century and
onwards, the anonymity of artists furthered this idea that their pieces were meant to be
created in reverence for God and not their own achievements.2 By the eighteenth century, the
artists of the Cuzco School had developed a certain style that combined the aesthetics of
European art in combination with their own cultural influence, yet maintaining a focus on the
religious aspects of the pieces. I have chosen the following as a sampling of paintings done by
the Cuzco School in the eighteenth century, so as to create an exhibit that will help to inform
Kelley Donahue-Wallace, Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521-1821 (NM: University of New
Mexico Press, 2008) 133.
the general public as to why this group of artists was so important to the production of art in
Colonial Latin America.
The Cuzco School was active in Peru from the 16th to the 19th century, and its main
purpose was to be a guiding force for indigenous artists to create the ‘appropriate’ kinds of
paintings.3 Monks would monitor the creation of pieces, making sure that natives were
correctly portraying religious imagery. They were especially interested in keeping out the
cultural aspects that the indigenous were prone to use. However, many of the indigenous
artists added in small details that would help to remind them of their culture while still
adhering to the rules of the church.4 Initially, the paintings portrayed religious themes of the
Virgin and Child, and other simple biblical references; so as to reinforce the main doctrine of
Christianity among the natives. With the coming of the eighteenth century, the imagery
incorporated a variety of religious scenes along with some historical references of the
conquest.5 In the proposed exhibit, it will be these themes which will be explored in the variety
The first image that I have selected to be a part of the exhibit is, “The Virgin of
Bethlehem,” created in 1770. (Figure 1) This piece is a strong representative of the style
favored by natives, and shows how they not only deviated from the traditional Renaissance
depiction of figures, but also included aspects of their own culture. The Virgin Mary is rendered
in very flat, stylized clothing with floral, gold patterning; which was very typical of art produced
“Cuzco School,” Oxford Art Online. www.oxfordartonline.com.library.svsu.edu,. December 6, 2012.
Emily Kelly, Course 304 Lectures, Saginaw Valley State University, 2012.
Gauvin Alexander Bailey, “Indian Conquest of Catholic Art: The Mughals, the Jesuits, and Imperial Mural
Painting,” Art Journal 57, no. 1 (1998): 24-30.
by the indigenous people who were not trained in the Renaissance traditions.6 This style of
decoration was known as brocateado, and was used as a means of appealing to indigenous
viewers.7 She is shown standing upon a crescent moon, which was part of Francisco Pacheco’s
concept on the depiction of the Virgin.8 In this portrayal of the virgin, such things as the
crescent moon, flowers, and other symbols were incorporated to show both the divinity of
Mary and her purity.9 At the same time, however, the moon is also symbolic of the Great
Goddess Incan deity, who is closely associated with agriculture and life.10 By incorporating this
aspect, the artist is reflecting the idea that although the indigenous people have converted to
Christianity, they are still aware of their cultural heritage.
Another image which is closely related to the Virgin and Child is the depiction of the
Christ child with Saint Joseph. (Figure 2) In this painting, a young Christ is standing hand in
hand with his mortal father, Joseph. In his hand, Joseph is holding a branch of white lilies,
which is symbolic of both his and Christ’s purity. Again, this saint follows the dictations of
Francisco Pacheco ideology of the portrayal of religious figures.11 Joseph is depicted as being in
his early thirties, mature yet still youthful, so as to convey to the natives the concept of an ideal
father role.12 The figures are each clothed in heavily stylized cloth, with a gold leaf pattern of
brocateado that portrays a sense of flattening in the painting common among works produced
by the Cuzco School artists.13 There is a hint of a landscape background, but it is nondescript so
Gauvin Alexander Bailey, 24-30.
Kelley Donahue-Wallace, 140.
Kelley Donahue-Wallace, 148.
Kenneth Mills, “The Limits of Religious Coercion in Mid-Colonial Peru,” Past & Present, no. 145 (1994): 84-121.
Kelley Donahue-Wallace, 154.
Gauvin Alexander Bailey, 24-30.
as to not draw the viewer’s attention away from the central figures. Surrounding the scene is a
border of various flowers, a direct reference to the indigenous culture. By including these
flowers, the artist is reminding the viewer of the Incan deities, and the idea of agriculture as
being an important part of their heritage.
The Last Judgment scene was one that very commonly used in Spain during the
thirteenth century in the tympanum of Romanesque churches.14 This scene was one that
cautioned the members of the church to remember that at death Christ would weigh their souls
so as to decide whether or not they were worthy of heaven.15 Often this scene would be
accompanied by a gruesome depiction of hell, which was seen as a reminder of the punishment
for one’s sins. Such is the case with the piece done by the Cuzco School artists. The painting
shows Michael the Archangel holding a balance scale, representing the judgment of the good
and evil that a person has done.16 Below him are the souls who are not worthy of heaven and
so must suffer in hell for their sins. This scene was used more commonly in the seventeenth
and eighteenth century (once most of the indigenous had been converted); so as to reinforce
the idea that sinful behavior would be condemning in the afterlife.
Another popular religious scene was that of the Last Super. Hence, it is no surprise that
the artists of the Cuzco School used it as one of their themes. (Figure 4) In this traditional
Christian scene, Jesus is shown in the middle with one hand in blessing and the other breaking
bread. It is this imagery which alludes to the Christian idea of the Eucharist, that the bread and
Fred Kleiner, Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: A Global History, CA: Wadsworth Publishing, 2010.
Regis Martin, The Last Things: Death, Judgement, Hell, Heaven (Ignatius Press, 1998); Andrea Petzold,
Romanesque Art (Prentice Hall, 2003).
Alfredo Tradigo, Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church, (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006) 188.
wine is symbolic or the body and blood of Christ17. This scene would have been used to help
correlate the biblical scene to the indigenous converts, showing the meaning behind the
Eucharist and the importance of Christ’s death for the salvation of their sins.
The next image selected to be a part of the Cuzco School exhibit is “The Allegorical
Flotilla of Salvation.” (Figure 5) This piece is significant because it represents the rebellion of
colonial cities against that of Spain and other European nations.18 Many of the natives were
not content with the Spanish governing body in Latin America, which caused a sense of unease
in the colonies. Many of the indigenous, because they had converted to Christianity, believed
that it Christ’s plan that they be saved.19 Hence, the image of the allegorical flotilla is seen as a
representation of this belief. Christ is seen on the crucifix on the central ship and then again as
he would appear in the heavens. To the right, the ship carries the Virgin and Child; and to the
left, the ship carries Saint Rose of Lima.20 Each of these figures holds an important religious
status, and is meant to show that God has agreed that the natives should be saved.
While many of the pieces done in the Cuzco School were of religious imagery, there
were others that depicted the colonization of the Incan peoples. Specifically, these paintings
were often created to show the inclusion of natives into the world of the Spaniards. In a
painting done in the Jesuit Church, Iglesia de la Compania, the artist depicts the marriage of an
Inca Princess and a Spanish Captain.21 (Figures 6.1 and 6.2) This scene shows how the original
Spanish colonists wanted to incorporate the natives into their culture by marrying them. Thus,
Alfredo Tradigo, 188.
Laurent Dubois, “The Price of Liberty: Victor Hugues and the Administration of Freedom in Guadeloupe, 17941798,” The William and Mary Quarterly 56, no. 2 (1999): 363-392.
Kenneth Mills, 84-121.
Luis Nieto Degregori, “The Captain and the Inca Princess in the Jesuit Church,” Bienvenida Editors,
http://www.bienvenidaperu.com. December 6, 2012.
the indigenous peoples are shown in their native dress, whereas the Spanish are garbed in the
European fashion. However, the Inca Princess is shown wearing the style favored by the
Spaniards, conveying the idea that these people could be could be integrated into the Spanish
culture. It was also a common practice to include both indigenous peoples and those of
European descent in a painting to show that the two people could live in harmony with one
another.22 Thus, making this piece a primary example of the interrelations between the Inca
civilizations and the Spanish colonists, as portrayed through the Cuzco artists.
I hope that you deeply consider this exhibit proposal as part of a display on Colonial
Latin American art focusing on that of the paintings of the Cuzco School during the eighteenth
century. I believe that this assortment would aptly fulfill a section dedicated to the paintings
done by these artists, encompassing a variety of examples in both style and context. Each piece
was specially chosen to represent a different aspect of art produced in the Cuzco School, and
would help any viewer of the exhibit to have a better understanding of the aesthetics used by
natives to create religious pieces in Colonial Latin America.
Emily Marie Sovey
David Cahill, “Colour by Numbers: Racial and Ethnic Categories in the Viceroyalty of Peru, 1532-1824,” Journal of
Latin American Studies 26, no. 2 (1994): 325-346.
Figure 1: Virgin of Bethlehem, Cuzco School, Oil on Canvas, Lima Museum of Art, 1770.
Figure 2: Saint Joseph and the Christ Child, Cuzco School, 1799.
Figure 3: The Last Judgment, Oil on Panel, Cuzco School, 18th Century.
Figure 4: The Last Super, Marcos Zapata, Cuzco School, Cuzco Cathedral, 1764.
Figure 5: Allegorical Flotilla of Salvation, Oil on Canvas, Cuzco School, 18th Century.
Figure 6.1: Martín García de Loyola y Beatriz Clara Coya, Cuzco School, Iglesia de la Compania,
Figure 6.2: Details of Martín García de Loyola y Beatriz Clara Coya, Cuzco School, Iglesia de la
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