University of Notre Dame

Art and Architecture of Colonial Mexico

Course Number: ARHI 20805

This course studies painting, sculpture, and architecture produced in Mexico during the period of Spanish colonial rule, ca. 1520-1820. It begins with the art of the Aztecs, the indigenous culture whose powerful empire was centered in Tenochtitlan (today, Mexico City), and examines the ways in which visual culture was transformed in the wake of the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the early-sixteenth century. Among topics to be considered are the art and architecture of Spanish colonial missions, the persistence and transformation of indigenous American materials, techniques, object types, and iconographies; the emergence of new iconographies and genres; the visual culture of colonial governance, and the foundation and development of new towns.