Coronation of the Virgin – Bernando Bitti
The Cusqueña Art movement, which worked mainly in oils and blendes indigenous and Spanish iconography, was limited to the Cusco region in the sixteenth century, but during the seventeenth century it spread to Titicaca and Bolivia, after which much of its technique was developed and elaborated. By the eighteenth century the style had been disseminated as far afield as Quito in Ecuador, Santiago in Chile, and even into Argentina, making it a truly South American art form and one of the most distinctive indigenous to the Americas.
The most famous Cusqueña artists were Bernando Bitti (sixteenth century), Diego Quispe Tito Inca (seventeenth century)an artist of mixed blood who was influenced by the Spanish Flamenco school- and whose paintings were vital tools of communication used by priest attempting to convert Indians to Catholicism – an Mauricio Garcia ( eighteenth century), who helped to move the form into a fuller mestizo synthesis, mixing Spanish and Indian artistic forms. Many of the eighteenth- and nineteenth- century Cusqueña – Mestizo works display bold composition and use of colour. The Cusqueña school is best known for portraits or religious scenes, with dark backgrounds, serious- looking, even tortured characters and plenty of gold-leaf decoration.
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