May, 2022

202227May14:1015:30Classicism, Nation-Building and Colonialism: Mexican art in the 19th century14:10 - 15:30

Juan Cordero

Event Details

When: Friday, May 27, 2022 | 14:10 – 15:30

Where: Arts Center Auditorium

Organized by: the Art History Society


a lecture by:
Dr. Ana S. González Rueda

Associate Lecturer at the School of Art History, University of St Andrews (Scotland)


Abstract of the presentation

This lecture addresses three key episodes in Mexican art during the nineteenth century, a largely overlooked period. As it developed a sense of identity following independence (1821), the country faced a politically turbulent time marked by foreign aggression and dictatorship. This talk explores the visual arts’ crucial role in this process.

Dr. Gonzales Rueda will concentrate on Manuel Tolsá’s equestrian bronze statue of Charles IV, known as el caballito (the little horse) and its resitting at different locations in Mexico City. She will discuss how the history of this monument correlates with the modernization of the capital. The following section examines the first exhibition of viceregal painting (1857) –the basis of the first volume on Mexican art history– and the establishment of the old and the modern schools of painting. The third and final section focuses on landscape conventions and the picturesque towards the end of the century. As a guiding thread connecting these three moments, she borrows Elizabeth Wilder Weismann’s description of new Latin American countries being ‘more colonial than the colony’. Her analysis also draws from Rolando Vazquez’s conception of how coloniality determines how we know, understand, and experience the world. In this case, she reflects on how it aesthetically installs the colonial difference.


Bio of the speaker

Ana Gonzalez RuedaAna S. González Rueda is an Associate Lecturer at the School of Art History, University of St Andrews (Scotland). She obtained her PhD in Museum and Gallery Studies with a thesis entitled “Inherent Pedagogies: Critical Approaches to Exhibition Making in the 2000s” (University of St Andrews, 2019). She also holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the University of Essex (2012) and a BA in Art History from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City (2008). In 2020, Ana completed a postdoctoral research residency at the Decolonising Arts Institute, UAL. Other projects include “Meaningful Matter: Testing Feminist Pedagogies in the Exhibition space” for the Van Abbemuseum’s Deviant Practice platform (2018-2019), and coordinating Possessing Nature, the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2015). Ana worked as a research assistant for the EU-LAC MUSEUMS and the Community Crafts and Cultures projects at St Andrews and is working on a forthcoming edited volume on communities and museums in the 21st century.


photo credits:
Museo Nacional de Arte / INBAL.
Juan Cordero, Cristobal Colón en la corte de los Reyes Católicos (1850), oil on canvas. Reproduction authorised by the National Museum of Art, Mexico City.