Following the establishment of the Manila / Acapulco spice routes in the 16th century, Portuguese slave traders captured tens of thousands of Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Malays who would be sold into servitude before making the long transoceanic journey to New Spain. Traveling on Spanish galleons, some were brought to Mexico via Acapulco or Veracruz while others travelled to Lima, Havana, Panama and Rio where they helped meet the growing labor demands of Nueva Espana's wealthy plantation, estancia and hacienda owners. In Mexico these Asian communities were known as 'Los Indios Chinos' or simply, 'Chinos', and in Peru they came to be known as 'Tusán', a Cantonese derivative of 'Taishan', referring to the town in the Guandong province where many of the Chinese slaves and immigrants came from. The cultural impact of the “Oriente en Nueva España" could be tasted in exotic Asian spices and heard in local dialect but the artistic impact was far more profound. In Mexico Chinese motifs were utilized in the prized Talavera Poblana pottery of Puebla de Los Angeles and the iconic fashion of the 'China Poblana' and in Peru it was manifested in colonial tapestries, porcelains and Chinoiserie furniture.
Appareled in a brocaded silk blouse and parcel gilt skirt with cropped hair and porcelain like skin, this hand carved colonial Madonna exemplifies the cultural and religious synthesis described above. Hand sculpted and polychrome painted wood with inset glass eyes, brocaded silk fabrics, parcel gilding and freshwater pearl earring. Raised on a high quality custom made stand. Circa 1800
Dimensions: 27 inches high
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Colonial Arts | 151 Vermont Street Street, Suite 6 | San Francisco, CA., 94103 | www.colonialarts.com