Sunday, March 28, 2010
Cuzco School “Virgin of Belen” for LACMA
Eunice and Douglas Goodan have donated a major Cuzco School painting to LACMA's growing Latin American collection. The roughly life size Virgin of Belen, created after 1700, depicts not the holy mother and child but a famous statue of them in Cuzco's Our Lady of Belén church. The Cuzco School has lately become popular with collectors, resulting in escalating prices. It anticipates both modernism (Cezanne's "treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone") and post-modernism (with its Thomas Demand-like project of paintings of sculptures that look like paintings of the real thing). The Virgin of Belen is always depicted as a cone, paradoxically rendered flat by surface patterns. Aside from a small oil-on-copper, this is LACMA's first Cuzco School painting. For a 21st-century take on the Virgin of Belen, see Robert Graham's bronze doors for the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels.