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Casta painting : images of race in eighteenth-century Mexico /
By Ilona Katzew.
New Haven : Yale University Press, 2004.
242 p. : ill. (chiefly col.) ; 29 cm.
0300102410 (cl : alk. paper)
More Details
New Haven : Yale University Press, 2004.
0300102410 (cl : alk. paper)
contents note
Painters and paintings: a visual tradition and its historiography -- "A marvelous variety of colors"?: racial ideology and the sistema de Castas -- Rise of Casta painting: exoticism and Creole pride, 1711-1760 -- Changing perspectives: Casta painting in the era of the Bourbon reforms, 1760-1790 -- Theater of marvels: Casta paintings in the textual microcosmos -- Concluding remarks: a genre with many meanings.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Ilona Katzew is associate curator of Latin American Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She received her Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (2000) and has been the recipient of Fulbright, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Ford Foundation fellowships.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-06-15:
The Mexican pictorial genre known as casta painting, which spanned the 18th century, is an interesting manifestation of colonial Mexico. Created as sets of consecutive images, casta paintings portrayed the mixing of the colony's main racial groups: Indians, Spaniards, and Africans. Today they provide a unique visual index to this time and place, revealing a fascination with genealogy and classification of the exotic. In this beautiful book, Katzew, curator of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where an exhibition on casta painting opened on April 4, examines the genre by placing it in historical context and explaining how, in Spain's attempt to control its colonial subjects, race became its focus. Lavishly illustrated, with 100 black-and-white and 100 color reproductions, this is one of the first books on the subject. Owing to Katzew's use of a variety of unpublished materials, it makes for a valuable interdisciplinary study. Recommended for large public libraries, academic libraries, and specialized collections in Latin American studies, art history, or political and social history of Mexico.-Sylvia Andrews, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2004-10-01:
Casta paintings, a phenomenon of 18th-century Mexico, portraying mixed racial families and their offspring, have received increasing attention over the past 15 years for what they reveal about control and structure in that colonial society. Katzew's superbly illustrated book is now the indispensable reference on the subject. Katzew (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) has traced more than 100 sets of these paintings, which usually make up (when complete) 16 individual representations over several generations of mixed Spanish, Indian, and African parents, each pair with their child. The motivation, audience, and meaning concerning these paintings have not been easily settled, but here the author constructs their historical context and shows that the paintings are not to be understood simply as a literal transcription of contemporary life. This is an important study for various disciplines concerned with colonial Latin America. It would not be redundant to acquire this book and another excellent, recent analysis of the topic: Magali M. Carrera, Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings (2003). ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through faculty. C. W. Talbot Trinity University
This item was reviewed in:
PW Annex Reviews, April 2004
Booklist, May 2004
Library Journal, June 2004
Choice, October 2004
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Casta painting is a distinctive Mexican genre that portrays racial mixing among the Indians, Spaniards & Africans who inhabited the colony, depicted in sets of consecutive images. Ilona Katzew places this art form in its social & historical context.
Unpaid Annotation
The pictorial genre known as casta painting is one of the most compelling forms of artistic expression from colonial Mexico. This beautifully illustrated book explains how casta painting developed art historically and sheds new light on racial dynamics of 18th-century Mexico.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Painters and Paintings: A Visual Tradition and Its Historiographyp. 5
"A Marvelous Variety of Colors?": Racial Ideology and the Sistema de Castasp. 39
The Rise of Casta Painting: Exoticism and Creole Pride, 1711-1760p. 63
Changing Perspectives: Casta Painting in the Era of the Bourbon Reforms, 1760-1790p. 111
The Theater of Marvels: Casta Paintings in the Textual Microcosmosp. 163
Concluding Remarks: A Genre with Many Meaningsp. 201
Abbreviationsp. 205
Notesp. 206
Bibliographyp. 227
Photograph Creditsp. 238
Indexp. 239
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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