By Magali M. Carrera
Reacting to the emerging numbers of mixed-blood (Spanish-Indian-Black African) humans in its New Spain colony, the eighteenth-century Bourbon executive of Spain tried to categorize and keep an eye on its colonial topics via expanding social legislation in their our bodies and the areas they inhabited. The discourse of calidad (status) and raza (lineage) on which the laws have been established additionally came upon expression within the visible tradition of recent Spain, fairly within the targeted style of casta work, which imagined to painting discrete different types of mixed-blood plebeians.
Using an interdisciplinary method that still considers felony, literary, and spiritual files of the interval, Magali Carrera makes a speciality of eighteenth-century portraiture and casta work to appreciate how the folk and areas of latest Spain have been conceptualized and visualized. She explains how those visible practices emphasised a seeming realism that developed colonial bodies—elite and non-elite—as knowable and visual. whilst, in spite of the fact that, she argues that the chaotic specificity of the lives and lived stipulations in eighteenth-century New Spain belied the semblance of social orderliness and totality narrated in its visible paintings. finally, she concludes, the inherent ambiguity of the colonial physique and its areas introduced chaos to all goals of order.
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Additional resources for Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings
Attributed to Felipe Fabres. Juan Vicente de Güemes Pacheco de Padilla, conde de Revillagigedo. Late eighteenth century. Oil. 92 x 69 cm. Museo Nacional de Historia, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (inah), Mexico. 30 IMAGINING IDEN TITY IN NEW SPAIN Carrera ch. 6. Miguel Cabrera. Don Juan Xavier Gutiérrez Altamirano Velasco. c. 1752. Oil. 3 x 136 cm. Y. 31 Carrera ch. 2 3 12/6/02 10:18 AM Page 32 caciques, or noble Indians, as seen in the image of Doña Sebastiana. Casta paintings, which appear only in eighteenth-century New Spain, emphasize non-elite social bodies like that of Mauricia.
From its inception in the sixteenth century, colonial society in New Spain was conceived in terms of division and separation. The Indians of New Spain, particularly the Aztec-Mexica, were recognized for their many and varied social, administrative, engineering, architectural, and artistic achievements; however, the Indians’ difference in religion placed them in the category of “pagan” and forced strict separation from Spaniards. 14 Black Africans, arriving in New Spain as slaves and laborers to the Spanish, were considered to be part of the Spanish república.
13 The Cámara’s activity corresponded to an intensified desire to enumerate, aggregate, and denominate the places, things, and people of the intendancies. From its inception in the sixteenth century, colonial society in New Spain was conceived in terms of division and separation. The Indians of New Spain, particularly the Aztec-Mexica, were recognized for their many and varied social, administrative, engineering, architectural, and artistic achievements; however, the Indians’ difference in religion placed them in the category of “pagan” and forced strict separation from Spaniards.