In the middle of the eighteenth century, Franciscan martyr portraits became popular in monastic spaces of the Spanish viceroyalties of central Mexico. To visually construct the meritorious life of these martyrs, artists drew inspiration from hagiographic chronicles that featured the graphic depiction of the gruesome deaths of friars.
The prospect of martyrdom enticed novices to follow in their footsteps in service to God, but also to the Crown, whose presence into the northern territories of New Spain intensified during the period of the Bourbon reforms. Furthermore, the anxiety of seventeenth century Native uprisings fed into the formulaic depiction of non-Christianized Indians of the Northern Provinces.
Emmanuel Ortega, Mellon Doctoral Fellow from the University of New Mexico, will explore a political approach to martyr images by analyzing examples anchored to the Franciscan missionary history of New Mexico.
Free for Alianza members and students with current ID, $5 DAM members, $10 others.
Sponsored by Alianza de las Artes Americanas, a DAM support group.