Miguel Cabrera

'Painted in Mexico': LACMA's remarkable and important new show

'Painted in Mexico': LACMA's remarkable and important new show

To get an idea of just how bold and ambitious painters were in 18th century Mexico, an era of unprecedented splendor in the colony of New Spain, look no further than the very first painting at the entrance to a smashing new exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Juan Rodríguez Juárez and his brother, Nicolás, were leading artists in Mexico City early in the century. Juan’s monumental “Ascension of Christ” (1720), a painting on wood panel nearly 10 feet tall, is dominated by a life-size figure in windswept blue and crimson robes, seen from below as he levitates into the misty, cherub-filled heavens. It was one of four commissions for the chapel altar...

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