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Museums evoke symbols of the viceroyalty

MEXICO CITY. The divine and the evil, saints and demons; crowns and roses, but also swords; books as agents of knowledge, and of prayer or spiritual exercise; Spanish trousseau and knowledge, but also indigenous threads. The syncretism of three centuries of the New Hispanic world was reflected in his art.

This is what the exhibition seeks to demonstrate Symbol and kingdom. Three great collections of New Spain, which brings together 60 paintings from three museums, the Nacional de Arte (Munal), the Nacional de Historia Castillo de Chapultepec and the Soumaya, who worked on this proposal for two years.

The sample, which is exhibited at the Munal from today and will remain until November, exposes “the symbolic and allegorical elements present in the works of various artists, whose speeches articulated the thought and devotion in the viceregal centuries”Carmen Gaitán explained yesterday.

SOUMAYA MUSEUM / AUTHOR: MIGUEL CABRERA / WORK: SANTÍSIMA TRINIDAD

The director of the Munal added, during the virtual inauguration, that this initiative invites us to “rediscover and revisit our history, our ways of thinking and gives an account of the New Spain mentality and that which made Independence possible.”

He explained that, through the work of painters such as Andrés de Concha, Baltasar de Echave Orio, Luis Juárez, Antonio Rodríguez, Juan Rodríguez Juárez, Cristóbal de Villalpando and Miguel Cabrera, among others, these collections account for biblical themes, hagiographic accounts, Greco-Roman mythological passages and secular history.

This exhibition evokes the birth of the kingdom of New Spain and the emergence of Mexico as an independent nation, moments of agony that were also of genesis. Here we look at the mirror of the viceregal period, at their ways of thinking about the world and their plastic lexicons to communicate imaginary geography. We look at the shores of ourselves, ”said Salvador Rueda, director of the Castillo de Chapultepec National Museum of History.

With the curatorship of Francesca Conti, del Soumaya; Héctor Palhares, del Munal and Erandi Rubio, from the National History, Symbol and Kingdom is organized into five thematic nuclei and an introductory space, Agnus Dei, which presents the figure of the Lamb of God as the central symbol of the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The first nucleus is titled Of crowns, roses and swords and deals with the meaning of these three representations in civil and religious subjects; the second, On Goodness and Malignancy, takes up the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden as an evocation of man’s vulnerability to the power of evil; and the third, On books and knowledge, explores books as agents of knowledge, prayer, pious life and spiritual exercise.

CASTILLO DE CHAPULTEPEC / AUTHOR: JUAN RODRÍGUEZ J. / WORK: LADY WITH REBOZO

And the last two modules are De ajuares e threads, which includes an eighteenth-century work that sheds light on the symbolic richness of viceregal threads; and On Encounters and Syncretisms, which shows the ethnic, religious and cultural miscegenation of European, indigenous, Asian and African societies in New Spain.

The symbol is a unit that has a power and transmits cultural values ​​and identities. Five centuries have passed since that collapse of Mesoamerican identity. However, there was no sharp cut and significant elements survive for three centuries. We can speak of a syncretic world ”, explained Alfonso Miranda.

The director of the Soumaya Museum stressed that these pieces, 20 contributed by each museum, are exhibited together for the first time.

200 years have passed of a free homeland, where we have learned to see and value ourselves from multiple traditions. This exhibition makes us find from the present the power of the symbol, create and remember. To experience that feeling that a patriotism forged, a love for the land.

It is an opportunity to resignify memory, to reconcile ourselves with the past. But it is also a step towards decentralization and building bridges between institutions ”, said the promoter after clarifying that the first exhibition venue is the Munal, but that the exhibition will travel around the country.

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