Spanish Colonial, Peru, Cuzco School, ca. 1750 CE. A very large, framed, oil-on-canvas painting depicting St. Andrew, one of the Apostles, son of Jonas and brother of St. Peter, portrayed as an old man - white haired and bearded with a golden halo, dressed in golden brown robes lavishly embellished with golden embroidery yet barefoot, and holding a Gospel. Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist, and then Christ. After the Ascension, he preached in various places and died as a martyr, crucified on a cross in the shape of an "X" (or saltire) which he grips in this painting. The painting is rendered in a style that bears the hallmarks of Cusquena style, such that the artist featured a religious subject, did not emphasize linear perspective (though we see a strong understanding of aerial perspective), and favored rich jewel tones as well as earth tones. Set in a stunning custom gilded, carved wood frame. Size: 71" L x 38" W (180.3 cm x 96.5 cm); 77.875" L x 42.875" W (197.8 cm x 108.9 cm)framed
Both Andrew and his brother Peter (also known as Simon Peter or Saint Peter) were avid fishermen; hence, Jesus believed they would make ideal disciples as "fishers of men". It is written in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt 4:18-22) and the Gospel of Mark (Mark 1:16-20) that Andrew and Peter were called together to be Jesus' disciples and "fishers of men". In both narratives, Christ is ambling along the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, discovers the brothers fishing, and calls them to be his disciples. Andrew was the disciple who told Jesus about the youth with loaves and fishes (John 6:8); he was present at the Last Supper, and he was one of the four disciples who went to Jesus on the Mount of Olives and asked about Jesus' return. Andrew was martyred in the city of Patras (Patrae) in Achaea; however, he purportedly asked to be bound, not nailed, to an X-shaped cross or saltire - now known as Saint Andrew's Cross - making this request, because he felt he was not worthy of being crucified on the same type of cross used for Jesus.
The Cuzco School (Escuela Cuzquena) was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition which originated following the 1534 Spanish Conquest of the Inca Empire and continued during the Colonial Period in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Though based in Cusco, Peru (the former capital of the Inca Empire), the Cuzco School extended to other cities of the Andes, present day Bolivia, and Ecuador. Today it is regarded as the first artistic center that taught European visual art techniques in the Americas. The primary intention of Cuzco School paintings was to be didactic. Hoping to convert the Incas to Catholicism, the Spanish sent religious artists to Cusco who created a school for the Quechua peoples and mestizos. Interestingly, Cusquena art was created by the indigenous as well as Spanish creoles. In addition to religious subjects, the Cuzco School expressed their cultural pride with paintings of Inca monarchs. Despite the fact that Cuzco School painters had studied prints of Flemish, Byzantine, and Italian Renaissance art, these artists' style and techniques were generally freer than that of their European models.
Provenance: private Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA collection
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