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Los rostros de la tierra encantada

Tercera parte. Evangelización y sincretismo religioso

The Southernmost Enterprise: The Visual Arts on the Jesuit Missions in Chiloe (1608-1767)1

Gauvin Alexander Bailey

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Extrait du texte

The Jesuit missions in Chiloe (Chile) are the southernmost Catholic missions of the colonial era. Writing in 1646, the Jesuit chronicler Alonso de Ovalle wrote proudly that they were «the most distant in this Province, and the most Apostolic that our Society has in all the Indies» (1646, pp. 354)2. They also made a unique contribution to architecture and the visual arts in Latin America, since they not only accommodated profoundly to indigenous materials and techniques but also borrowed extensively from Central European traditions, since many of the Jesuits came from places like Bavaria and the Rhineland. Plain, barn-like, shingled structures of wood, with few windows and adorned only with a single elegant arcade at the front supporting a solitary bell-tower, the churches of Chiloe look more like Tyrolian wayside chapels than relics of Spanish culture—appropriate in their Alpine setting in the Southern third of Chile. Their interiors are more lavishly decorated, with classical colum...


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