Union of the Inka royal family with the houses of Loyola and Borgia

Mestizaje Gallery
Union of the Inka royal family with the houses of Loyola and Borgia, 18th c.
Museo Pedro de Osma, Lima, Peru.

This painting, one of several versions of the same theme, depicts the marriages of two Inka princesses—the last survivors of the Inka royal line— to Spanish grandees. On its surface, it seems to document the placid progress of mestizaje in Spanish America. At the left, in the foreground of the painting, appears the Ñusta Beatriz Clara Coya (c. 1557-1600). She wears the full skirt of an elegant Spanish lady but the tocapu adorning her dress marks her high status as Inka nobility. Her Spanish husband, Martín García de Loyola (d. 1598), grasps her hand. Behind the couple, seated on chairs, are doña Beatriz’s Inka ancestors. Across from them, in the upper right corner of the painting, appears the daughter of don Martín and doña Beatriz, dressed fully as a Spanish lady. She is doña Ana María Lorenza, shown as she marries another member of the Spanish nobility, Juan Enríquez de Borja y Almansa in Madrid in 1614. The figures of doña Ana María Lorenza and don Juan reappear in the foreground of the painting, slightly behind her parents. Through these two marriages, this painting suggests that the Inka royal line fused willingly and fully with the Spanish nobility. Given pride of place in this history is the Jesuit order (both grooms were from the families of Jesuit founders); Saint Ignatius of Loyola and St. Francis Borja dominate the center.

But doña Beatriz did not choose this particular marriage for herself. She was a wealthy trophy bride, and it was whispered in Cuzco that one aspirant for her hand had raped her when she was nine to secure his claim to her and her inheritance. She was finally awarded to Loyola for his success in defeating (and executing) her uncle. He, in turn, would be killed at the hands of the Araucano in Chile. Their daughter, orphaned as a young girl, was another trophy bride, dispatched to Spain to be married off. But the painting occludes much of this violent history. Its ordered composition presents a seamless transfer of power from an indigenous dynasty to a Spanish one, through the sacrament of marriage. And like all ideal images, the painting corresponds only in oblique ways to the lived experiences of mestizaje in Spanish America.



Gisbert, Teresa, 1980. Iconografía y Mitos Indigenas en el Arte. La Paz: Gisbert y Cia.

Rostworowski de Diez Canseco, María. 1970. “El Repartimiento de Doña Beatriz Coya, en el Valle de Yucay.” Historia y Cultura: Organo del Museo Nacional de Historia (Lima, Peru), 4: 153-267.

Timberlake, Marie. 1999. “The Painted Colonial Image: Jesuit and Andean Fabrication of History in Matrimonio de García de Loyola con Nusta Beatriz.” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 29 (3): 563-598.

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