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Spanish Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians in the 16th century introduced the native Indians to not only their religious beliefs, but the European arts and aesthetics. Hand in hand, they learned about each other in a cultural exchange that gave birth to what we know as Indochristian Art.
There are very few sources that give credit to the intelligence, sensibility, enthusiasm and craftsmanship of the Indians involved in the construction and decoration of the Convents and Temples of the New Spain. A seminal book on Arte Indocristiano by Constantino Reyes-Valerio (1978 first edition, redited in 2000) analysed in detail the work of native Mexicans under the guidance of Christian friars. His work contains the story of those footprints of the past, welded as silent testimony of the Indians artistic activity in the disturbed Colonial world. The story is also a struggle between Indians and Friars; the slow imposition of the European culture, pregnant of medieval preconceptions that cannot be forgotten if we are to understand the men that were immersed in that painful and yet emotional contact. The lack of an adequate appraisal of the artistic work of the Indian in the 16th century and the extraordinary interest drawn by every manifestation of the Indians' presence paved the way for this work that include Sculpture and Painting; two unquestionable expressions of Indo-Christian Art, the magnificent legacy of the Indian of the Eternal Mexico.
- Cuzco School
- Quito School
- Chilote School of Religious Imagery
- Art of Latin America
- Visual arts by indigenous peoples of the Americas
- Reyes-Valerio, Constantino (1993). De Bonampak al Templo Mayor: El azul maya en Mesoamérica. Mexico D.F.: Siglo XXI editores. ISBN 968-23-1893-9. Retrieved 2007-03-16. (Spanish)
- Reyes-Valerio, Constantino (2000). Arte Indocristiano, Escultura y pintura del siglo XVI en México.. Mexico D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes. ISBN 970-18-2499-7. (Spanish)
- Arte Indocristiano, descriptive site by Reyes-Valerio (Spanish) (English)