UC Berkeley History of Art Department

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Tremors and Remedies: Images, Intercessions and Ritual Efficacy in Colonial Cuzco

Patrick Hajovsky, Southwestern University


Patrick Hajovsky, Assistant Professor of Art History at Southwestern University, has submitted the following abstract for his January 30 talk:

On March 31, 1650 a catastrophic earthquake ravaged the city of Cuzco, Peru, yet its Cathedral survived and soon after housed a colossal votive painting of the event—a panorama of the city during its turmoil. This painting is one of the earliest city views of Latin America, and a visual heteroglossia of the disaster, bringing together multiple evidentiary sources into its grand perspective. While it was a collaborative project between its unidentified Andean artist and its Spanish patron, its painted image and its text-caption credit two different miraculous images for intervening on behalf of the city. This begins an era of competition between these two images—a Spanish painting of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios and a sculpted crucifix named Taytacha Temblores—whose efficacies, it appears, correlate with ethnic divisions of viewership and ritual participation into the eighteenth century.