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The Lienzo of Tlapiltepec: A Painted History from the Northern Mixteca

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For centuries, indigenous rulers of Mesoamerica commissioned elaborate pictorial histories to maintain their claims to power, land, and privilege--a practice they continued under Spanish authority after the conquest. The Lienzo of Tlapiltepec is one such history. An intricate pictographic document on cotton cloth measuring 156 by 66.5 inches, the lienzo was produced by an Indian painter-scribe of great skill during the sixteenth century in the northern Mixteca, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It depicts events dating from the eleventh century to the early years of the Spanish colony. Housed since 1919 in the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada, the lienzo is a work of such complexity and reach that few scholars possess the tools to understand its message and context. The contributors to this volume are among that select few.

In four chapters, front matter, and two appendices accompanied by detailed, full-color illustrations, scholars Arni Brownstone, Nicholas Johnson, Bas van Doesburg, Eckehard Dolinski, Michael Swanton, and Elizabeth Hill Boone describe what a lienzo is and how it was made. They also explain the particular origin, format, and content of the Lienzo of Tlapiltepec--as well as its place within the larger world of Mexican painted history. The contributors furthermore explore the artistry and visual experience of the work. A final essay documents past illustrations of the lienzo, including the one rendered for this book, which employed innovative processes to recover long faded colors.

Unique in its detail, scope, and depth, this is the first volume to offer a full description and analysis of the Lienzo of Tlapiltepec and to grant widespread access to this extraordinary repository of history.

ISBN-13: 9780806146300

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

Publication Date: 02-05-2015

Pages: 216

Product Dimensions: 10.93h x 8.86w x 0.40d

Brownstone, Arni: - Arni Brownstone is Assistant Curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, and author of War Paint: Blackfoot and Sarcee Painted Robes in the Royal Ontario Museum.Johnson, Nicholas: - Nicholas Johnson is Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum and former associate editor of artscanada, a national magazine of the visual arts in Toronto.Van Doesburg, Bas: - Bas van Doesburg is author of several books and articles on pictographic texts from the Oaxaca area, including Codices Cuicatecos: Porfirio Diaz y Fernandez Leal.
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