Lecture: "Depictions of Daily Life: Casta Paintings from 18th-Century Mexico"

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The exhibition American Adversaries: West and Copley in a Transatlantic World provides an opportunity to reflect on cultural trade between the New World and Old World. Prefiguring the Enlightenment, a new and unique genre of painting developed in Mexico about 1700.

Known as casta (caste) paintings, sets of 14 to 16 canvases portrayed mixed-race families in domestic or occupational settings, offering a rare glimpse into daily life in the Spanish colony of Mexico in the 18th century. This lecture examines casta sets — often commissioned for export to Spain — which advertised the natural abundance, in both products and people, of the American territories and exhibited a new sense of chauvinism and pride about the wealth of the Americas.

Presented by Donna Pierce, Frederick and Jan Mayer Curator of Spanish Colonial Art, Denver Art Museum. A reception follows the lecture.



Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005


Admission is free; tickets are required.
All events are subject to change due to weather or other concerns. Please check with the venue or organization to ensure an event is taking place as scheduled.