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Art Matters Lecture - Casta Paintings: Picturing Racial Difference in Colonial Mexico with Elena Fitzpatrick Sifford (via Zoom)

Thursday, October 1, 2020
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Virtual Experience
via Zoom

Elena Fitzpatrick
Assistant Professor of Art History, Baker Center for the Arts

In the 18th century in Mexico, artists began painting images of couples of different ethnic backgrounds along with their racially-mixed children. Typically, created in sets of 16, each picture showed a different type that was loosely codified in the sistema de castas, a hierarchy that categorized people based on racial mixture. This talk introduces casta paintings and discusses their formal and contextual characteristics, including the impetus for their creation and the significance of the works for those who commissioned and displayed them on both sides of the Atlantic.

credit: Miguel Cabrera, 5. From Spaniard and Mulatto Woman, Morisca (5. De espaƱol y mulata, morisca) (detail), 1763. Oil on canvas. Private collection.


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