The focus of this exhibition is the vitality and ingenuity of the artists of New Spain (Mexico) in the eighteenth century. In total, the exhibition presents about 110 works of art (mostly paintings), many of which had not been known to the general public before.
The exhibition displays the work of the most famous Mexican artists and stylistic developments of the period, and also highlights the emergence of new painting genres.
The eighteenth century - the era of picturesque splendor in Mexico, when local schools of painting were strengthened, new iconography was invented, and artists explored new ways to activate their art. Distinctive features of Mexican painters were their versatility and fantastic performance. The artists who created paintings with frescoes to cover the walls of sacristy, choirs and university halls were often the same who painted portraits, caste paintings (images of racially mixed families), painted folding screens and objects of decorative and applied arts. Such a volume of work of four generations of Mexican artists, covering the eighteenth century, almost never occurs anywhere in the Spanish world.
The growing professional self-awareness of artists during this period prompted many educated artists to not only sign their works to emphasize their authorship, but also make a clear reference to Mexico, adding the Latin inscription "pinxit Mexici" (written in Mexico) to the autograph.