Discover the Vibrant World of South American Art: A Brief Overview.
Posted On December 2, 2022
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Art in South America has played a significant role in conveying stories of the past. From paintings to sculptures, ancient artists have beautifully portrayed the diverse culture of South Americans. South Americans give birth to many different types of arts and trailblazer artists. Let’s learn about some of the highly esteemed artists of South America. South American artists have a rich music, art, and literature background. Many artists have become pioneers in art and paved the way for South American crafts. To understand the history behind these crafts, here are some facts and discoveries about South American Art!
Alber Eckhout c.1610–1665 was a Dutch portrait and still-life painter; he was among the first European artists to paint scenes from the New World. He was in the entourage of the Dutch governor-general of Brazil, Johan Maurits, Prince of Nassau-Siegen, who took him and fellow painter Frans Post to Dutch Brazil to have them record the country’s landscape.
Albert Eckhout was one of the earliest artists to paint scenes of the pre-Columbian era. His paintings depicted the indigenous struggles groups faced in South America. He painted many enslaved Black people and Brazilian warriors with weapons in their hands.
Along with making portraits, he coveted painting animals, fruits, and his environment. They got so popular that they were gifted to King Fredrick III from Denmark! His work also helped me learn about the ancient cultures of native tribes like the Tapuyas.
2. José Maria Espinosa
Espinosa was a Columbian Artist who portrayed battle landscapes during the pre-independence of Columbia. His work is highly regarded in the Catholic community. One of his most famous paintings is the Battle of Palo River (1850), which shows a scene of chaos and fear amongst the soldiers.
Jose Maria Espinosa, born 1796 – 1883, is a Colombian hero of Independence, painter and chronicler. He fought with the troops of Simón Bolívar, and his experiences were later transcribed in the work “Las Batallas de Espinosa.”
Furthermore, he created the portraits of Simon Boliver, a military officer who led warriors in battles. He is considered a prominent figure in South American History. Jose’s drawings of such heroes have even been compiled into a pamphlet called “Memories of a Standard Barrier.”
Portrait-of-Simon-Bolivar-by-Jose-Maria-Espinosathe-Battle-of-Palo-River-1850 by Jose Maria Espinosaportrait-of-Jose-Maria-Espinosa-by-Gonzalo-Garavito
Fernando is a sculptor and artist from Columbia who created humorous paintings—born 19 April 1932 in Medellín, Colombia. His portraits are usually round, large, and cute. The people shown in them had exaggerated features. His unique style of art was given the name Boterismo. As his work went international, he began hosting exhibitions and even won awards. Botero is the most recognized artist in Latin America.
Fernando BoteroFernando Botero – FlamencoFernando Botero – Mona Lisa
Prominent Features of South American Art
The rich history of South America tells us about art’s involvement in almost everything. Art was visible in everything, whether it be sculptures or statues. The most prominent features of South American Art are listed below.
1. South American Sculptures
The early civilizations of South America had distinct art styles. For example, the Olmec people used to have human and animal tombs and statues made of ceramics! Meanwhile, the Mayans had stone carvings in their architecture. Since they were very religious, most of their artifacts present mythological creatures and events.
Olmec Head from San Lorenzo-Tenochtitlán; 1200–900 BCE.
2. South American Textiles
One of the most prominent aspects of South American Art was their textile! Since the women were taught to sew from a young age, they became pro-weavers. The designs consist of animal shapes, beads, and dyed threads. The South American people have a very distinct style, which is why civilizations like the Inca started their textile productions.
The garments used to be made out of Peruvian Pima cotton, and the thickness of these clothes varied from region to region. Different colorful morals and geometric shapes made on cloth pieces are used as decoration pieces, handbags, pouches, and clothing items. South American textile businesses have flourished a lot in the modern day.
3. South American Jewelry
It must be evident that South American people were highly creative and found ways to restore their cultural values over the years. Another skill they possessed was jewelry making! Columbia had the largest gold deposits. This gold was mined and converted into tiaras, rings, and brooches. These jewelry pieces were enhanced with emeralds, opals, and other gemstones to make them look more extravagant. The gold from pre-Columbian times even had animals crafted onto them. Moreover, beads were added to necklaces in the Andean culture, giving them a royal look.
4. South American Statues
As we know, sculptures and statues comprise a large chunk of South American culture. Christ the Redeemer is one of the most well-known statues in Brazil. Since most people in South America are Catholic, many old artifacts represent religious sentiments. This statue was even named one of the seven wonders of the world! Some of the ancient figures were also made out of gold. Wealthy communities used to get their cutlers in gold as well.
This takes us to the end of this article. We hope this was informative regarding the history and value of South American art. So many renowned artists have played a crucial role in depicting the country’s past. Their beautiful craftsmanship makes them stand out amongst many cultures.
Born in Turkey, Sibel Meydan Johnson lived and studied in Mons Belgium most of her life. She graduated with honors with a major in Liberal Arts.
In 1990 Sibel left her hometown for New York City. She worked for several years as a production assistant for " En Plein Air Masters" one of the first online plein air artists mentor programs then as director of production for Brush With Life TV’s series on visual art.
Today Sibel is an autodidact painter, Freelance writer specializing in art and the business of art. Mother and wife, she is a full-time artist.
Sibel's art captures and brings forth the hidden emotion of his subjects and evoke a sense of curiosity and introspection pushing the boundaries of creativity and expression, her work often combines elements of abstraction and realism, creating a unique and captivating visual experience that sometimes disturb the viewers.