Visual Culture in Spanish America, 1520-1820

Vistas brings the visual culture of Spanish America online, offering a unique collection of paintings, sculptures, architectural monuments and objects from daily life. Spanish America once covered much of the Americas, from California to Chile. Its visual culture was forged in urban centers, religious and frontier communities, and indigenous towns.

We invite you to explore the themes, gallery and library of Vistas, to consider how visual traditions, tastes, and practices developed across three centuries of American history, from the conquests of the 16th century to the independence movements of the early 19th century, and to see how distinct cultures coexisted and developed in an increasingly global world.

Map of Cholula from the Relaciones Geográficas, 1581.
Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin.

View of Potosí, Bolivia: 150 grabados en cobre, 1928.
Roberto Gertsmann.
Paris: Braun and Co. editores, plate 8.

Americae Nova Tabula, Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Atlas Novus, vol. II, 1635.
Willem Janszoon Blaeu.
Regenstein Library, University of Chicago.

Virgin and Child with Jesuit Saints, late 16th-early 17th century.
Pedro de Vargas.
Casa de Murillo, La Paz.

The Attack on Santo Domingo, from A summarie and true discourse of Sir Francis Drake's West Indian Voyage, 1589.
Baptista Boazio.
American Museum in Britain, Bath, England.

Unku with Heraldry Lions and the name "Diego Dias," front view, 17th century.
Museo Inka, Cuzco.