Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Arts of Colonial Mexico. The Guidebooks: Oaxaca and Chiapas

Our aim in this blog is to make Mexico's colonial artistic heritage come alive for the English speaking reader. 
   Over several years, your author, writer and illustrator Richard Perry has published a series of informative, pictorial guidebooks to those regions of Mexico with the richest colonial artistic heritage.   
   For each region we outline  in a clear descriptive style. the local history, folklore, and the artistic context for each building or work of art of note. In each case the text is supplemented by numerous illustrations, maps and plans.
   All the guides are illustrated by original line drawings by the author which render the architectural and sculptural detail with a clarity unobtainable in any other medium.

Here we showcase two of our guides to the more indigenous southern regions of Mexico: Oaxaca and Chiapas.

From the baroque temples of the city of Oaxaca, a colonial capital built on a human scale, to the glistening domed chapels that grace even the smallest village, the colonial churches of Oaxaca and their treasures are a source of pleasure and surprise to travelers.
   This new book, by specialist author and illustrator Richard D. Perry, is here to guide you—the first book to describe these splendid churches especially for the art traveler. Perry's detailed line drawings enhance his knowledgeable text.

The guide is divided into four sections:

Chapter One  Detailed descriptions of the principal colonial churches, monasteries and mansions of the City of Oaxaca, their history and artistic heritage.

Chapter Two  In which we look at the varied colonial arts and monuments of the many towns and villages of the populous Oaxaca Valley that surrounds the city, as well as the nearby Sierra region.

Chapter Three  Here we explore the historic priories, monasteries and many village churches of the rugged Mixteca Alta region, north of the city of Oaxaca.

Color Section  Following these itineraries, we include a special 40 page supplement of photographs by noted Mexican photographer Felipe Falcón, illustrating outstanding examples of Oaxaca's colonial art and architecture.

Designed in a compact but elegant format, with maps, plans, a useful glossary and full index, Exploring Colonial Oaxaca is an indispensable guide for the Oaxaca aficionado and the art traveler in Mexico.

After the 16th century Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas took up their cause in 1545, the plight of the highland Maya of Chiapas has occupied center stage in the history of this scenic but impoverished region.  During his brief term as the first bishop of Chiapas, Las Casas encouraged the founding of missions across the area, many of which remain in use by the Maya to this day.
   Forged in the artistic traditions of Islamic and Christian Spain, these unique colonial buildings also drew on the heritage of ancient Mexico and Guatemala, infused with the spirit of the native Maya.
   Our affordable guidebook sympathetically describes these missions, as well as the other notable Spanish colonial monuments of this isolated region: city churches, Dominican monasteries and convents, urban mansions and even a 16th century fountain -- newly restored and one of the most spectacular colonial structures in the Americas.
  • The first part of the guide looks at the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the colonial capital of Chiapas. There, we walk the visitor through its cathedral, urban churches and monasteries, colonial mansions and humble barrio chapels, describing the colonial artworks that they contain.
  • In the second Chapter we explore southern Chiapas, the less visited towns and villages along the old Camino Real between San Cristóbal and the Guatemalan border, and their often overlooked colonial monuments.
  • The last chapter describes the ancient town of Chiapa de Corso and its colonial buildings, notable its spectacular 16th century brick fountain unique in the Americas, and describes a foray north into the little known Zoque region of Chiapas, with its great ruined Dominican missions.
Author Richard Perry once again enhances his survey of the distinctive viceregal arts and architecture of the region with his detailed line drawings. 

Essential reading for the traveler along the "Ruta Maya", More Maya Missions is also a valuable reference work, complete with helpful maps, glossary, bibliography and full index.

These guidebooks may be ordered through
from our preferred distributor Practical Patchwork.

Readable... Portable... Affordable...

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