Master of Calamarca

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Angel with wheat stalks from the church of Calamarca

The Master of Calamarca (fl. first half of 18th century) was a Bolivian artist who created two series of angels painted on the walls of a catholic church in Calamarca, Bolivia in the Department of La Paz. His works were stylistically close to earlier master Leonardo Flores from La Paz (fl. last quarter of 17th century).[1]

The Calamarca church contains two sets of angels, most likely created by the same person. The first contains militant Ángel arcabuceros wielding firearms, with each angel's name written clearly at the bottom; the paintings of the Calamarca church are the most renowned, definitive examples of Ángel arcabucero type[2] and Bolivian angel types in general.[3] The second set depicts androgynous angels wearing billowing capes, elaborate short European-style female dresses and Roman military boots. They are unsigned, but each is carrying an object uniquely identifying the subject as one of Archangels of Palermo. According to a tradition stemming from medieval Palermo, these were seven archangels, venerated in Spain, although only three were recognized by the Church.[4]

Exact identity of the artist is unknown; Donahue-Watson identified him as probably Jose Lopez de los Rios, and dated his works 1660–1680s,[5] while Rishel and Stratton date the works of the unknown Master as first half of 18th century.[4]

See also[edit]

Media related to Master of Calamarca at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Rishel, Stratton, p. 423
  2. ^ Rishel, Stratton, p. 422
  3. ^ Kaufmann, p. 291
  4. ^ a b Rishel, Stratton, pp. 423-424
  5. ^ Donahue-Watson, p. 160