José Armando Pérez Crespo
Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Business, Engineering Division Campus Irapuato-Salamanca, University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Email: email@example.com
Received May 21, 2018; Revised May 20, 2018: Accepted May 24, 2018; Published September 13, 2018.
The present article is a review of the artistic aspects of Baroque architecture in Latin America. Special reference may be made to at least one significant pattern among others: namely, ‘altarpiece’ design. I shall conduct this discussion with reference to the walls of the nave of the Augustinian temple of San Juan de Sahagún in the city of Salamanca, Guanajuato, a city located in the central highlands of Mexico, also known as the “El Bajío” region. The altarpiece theme has been the subject of study by local and external researchers who have dealt with its historical antecedents, from the first Christian altars in the times of the Roman persecutions, to its appearance in the Middle Ages, and its final manifests in the splendor of the Baroque period and its arrival in America. Thus, in the colonial period of the Americas the formal elements of the Baroque were used by the colonisers to project a status symbol in front of the powerful creole and peninsular groups. But the Baroque age symbol was also an artistic expression and it combined with the culture of the indigenous world, adding to the rich body of architectural expression, material resources, diversity and contexts. Baroque synthesis also comprised spirituality and gave rise to artistic creations with specific functions within a religious system- in this case the city of Salamanca on Mexico’s Bajío area. Gómez (2011) argues with respect to the purpose of the artistic object: “Altarpieces play a very special role in religious art in that they are differentiated from the rest of the liturgical material. It is also an instrument of religious stimulus for with its illustrative nature and pedagogical impacts on people visiting the church”(par.1).
Keywords: Baroque architecture, Latin America, Augustinian temple, altarpiece