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Arts of Latin America, the Philippines, and Portuguese India: Works on Paper

ESCUDO DE MONJA, THE VIRGIN OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, ca. 1730
Juan Rodríguez Juárez

Drawings by major colonial Latin American artists are exceedingly rare; however, the Hispanic Society has in its collection an exceptional signed drawing on paper of The Virgin of the Immaculate Conception (ca. 1730) prepared for an escudo de monja, or nun’s badge, by the Mexican artist Juan Rodríguez Juárez. From the end of the colonial period there is a large cut-paper work of the Zócalo, or Main Square, of Mexico City, signed in the image by Ignacio López Aguado and dated 1810. This cut-paper work is a remarkable reproduction of one of the most famous prints of the colonial period, the engraving by José Joaquín Fabregat, Vista de la Plaza de México (1797), prepared at the Royal Academy of the Three Noble Arts of San Carlos in Mexico City.

The Hispanic Society holds a wealth of drawings from the 19th century, beginning with twelve watercolor views prepared by the Austrian traveler Franz Josef Frühbeck during his journey through Brazil in 1817-1818. The collection of over 600 costumbrista watercolors – the vast majority by mulato artist, Francisco “Pancho” Fierro, and his circle and his followers – is the largest in the world. Pancho Fierro, the most famous and prolific Peruvian artist of the 19th century, produced thousands of watercolors from the 1830s until his death in 1879 that depict the typical people, costumes, and customs found in and around Lima. The most notable among the works by Fierro is an enormous scroll measuring almost five meters in length, Holy Week Procession in Lima (ca. 1832), that documents the people and events surrounding the procession of pasos, religious floats, along the Calle de San Agustín in Lima during Holy Week.

VIEW OF THE PLAZA AND CATHEDRAL OF MEXICO CITY, 1810
Ignacio López Aguado