Temporary exhibitions

Art from the Viceroyalty of Peru

2 March – 20 May 2018

Peruvian viceregal art is an amalgam of two cultural traditions: the European and the Andean, from the arrival of art from the European Renaissance of the sixteenth century to its subsequent merge with the pre-Columbian heritage.

Since 1966 the Barbosa-Stern Collection has amassed an impressive collection of Peruvian viceregal art. The collection is the result of 50 years of hard work, dedication and love for Peruvian colonial art, with it being shown in more than 100 exhibitions around the world.

Magnificent images of saints along with religious, profound scenes and even objects of domestic use, are immersed in an atmosphere quite different to that of their original European models, which arrived from Europe with colonisation, through Italian masters and representatives of Mannerism.

This form of expression continued until the mid-nineteenth century and throughout republican times.

This exhibition highlights the encounter of two different and distant cultures. The imposition of Christianity on the Andean world view, the European referents, and the appropriation of these by Andean brushes and chisels. These are not purely aesthetic values, but also an evangelizing message that flows in and out of each object. Dogma and devotion, to angels, saints, and silversmithery, across a timeline between the extirpation of idolatry to the constriction of the Peruvian nation, are just some of the topics that will be unveiled.

The silver objects in this exhibition will allow us to admire the exquisite artistic skills developed by silversmiths of the Peruvian viceroyalty, who absorbed European concepts and techniques, merging them with their own native traditions and sophisticated forms of expression through hammer, chisel and fine silver thread.

Eighty-one objects that form a key part of the Peruvian nation’s cultural heritage will be shown for the first time in Poland, sharing the vision of a distant society with the same faith, but with a strikingly different aesthetic.