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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.