This catalog presents the first systematic study of feather mosaics from New Spain in the context of a broader creative exchange between Mesoamerican and European aesthetics and materials. Thirty-three scholars look at these unprecedented artworks that circulated in the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries from a range of vantage points, including art history, anthropology, collecting, natural history, archeology, and conservation. Published to complement a major international exhibition held at the National Museum of Art (MUNAL) in Mexico City in 2011, the book is organized thematically and includes over three hundred color photographs of feather mosaics with astonishing detail, as well as relevant paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, books, European illuminated manuscripts, Mesoamerican codices, and studies of natural history.
No book has ever brought together so many images of artworks from this tradition, let alone assembled a team of scholars to offer such trenchant analysis. It will be essential for art historians, scholars of colonialism, and historians of the Spanish Empire alike.
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