Colonial Spanish America was founded on the conquered remains of two powerful,
urbanized societiesthe Aztec and the Inka. It was not a quiet past.
Across Latin America, the landscape was alive with relics from prehispanic
times, and people carried deep memories of pre-conquest history. As late as
1790, this statue, buried with rubble from Aztec temples, was pulled out of
the main plaza of Mexico City. At issue in this unit is how people made sense
of ever-present pre-Columbian objects and histories, investing them new meanings
so that the past would be useful in the present.
1792. Antonio León y Gama. New York Public Library, New York
2005, Dana Leibsohn and Barbara Mundy
Please credit as: Leibsohn, Dana, and Barbara Mundy, Vistas: Visual Culture
in Spanish America, 1520-1820.