European Influence

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing well adjusting to the new normal we are all facing while in school. For this weeks discussion, I wanted to delve into Latin American Art. I am currently taking the History of Latin American Art this semester, and we have already started our discussions.

Latin American has a diverse set of cultures and styles of art making, which have not been studied well enough. Each year archaeologists, find new hidden cities, temples, and cultures. Prior to the Europeans arriving in Latin America, the indigenous people had created their own lifestyle. The Europeans were sent to spread Christianity all over the world. There was a belief that if there were a certain percentage of Christians in the world, that when Christ returned, they would be saved.

In order for the Europeans to teach their beliefs to Latin Americans, they needed to communicate with one another. This was difficult due to the language barrier, but instead of words, they resorted to art. Through art, Europeans were able to tell the stories of the Bible. This new form or communication through art, required skilled artists. These artists were European, which caused there to be some outside influences to the Latin American art form.


One work that combines both ideals of Europe and Latin America is the Atrial Cross. It currently resides at the Franciscan Church of Tepeyac in Mexico, built in the 16th century. This cross contains Christian symbols such as the face of Christ and the crown of thorns. The cross is textured from the natural stone itself. There is a lot of ornamentation on the cross, which was used as a tool to teach Christianity. The narrative created through the symbols, gives the cross an abstract tone.

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