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Cult, Countenance, and Community: Donor Portraits from the Colonial Andes

In: Religion and the Arts
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  • 1 University of Florida
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Abstract

The article outlines the nature of the donor portrait, including its origins in Europe and its manifestations in Spanish colonial Peru. Then it considers three paintings featuring donor portraits and the miraculous statue known as Christ of the Earthquakes (El Señor de los Temblores). An introduction to the original statue, housed in the Cathedral of Cusco, and its cult is provided. Then the portraits are analyzed for the ways in which they express both similarity and difference. On one hand, the works served to unite the donors as pious Christians within the wider devotional community of Cusco; on the other hand, the works’ details served to distinguish and differentiate the donors based on their particular social and ethnic identities.

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