Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Last Supper- Peruvian style

Marcos Zapata (active between 1748 and1773)
Last Supper
Cathedral at Cuzco (Qosqo), Peru

Marcos Zapata was active between 1748 and 1773. By that time, Cuzco style art workshops had virtually become factories, producing canvases to export hundreds of paintings to Tucumán, Santiago de Chile, La Paz, Lima, and beyond.

Cuzco artists copied and renewed the pictorial language of Flanders’ illustrations, reproducing many of the allegoric Counter-Refomation compositions of Peter Paul Rubens (1577 – 1640), or others from the medieval calendar or Apocryphal gospels.

They changed the size of the figures within the structure of their compositions, freely interpreted the colours and drapery of the characters, or added angels, flowers, local birds or even phylactery with coded doctrine texts. What appear to be mere historical anachronisms in their paintings are in fact signs of commitment or adaptability.

On the middle of the composition is the table where there is a tray containing a roasted guinea pig, which was a delicacy in the Andes inherited from Incan Society and consumed only in the most special occasions. He also placed on the table papayas and hot peppers.