Past Exhibitions

Vistas del sur

Traveler Artists' Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection

January 20, 2017 to April 16, 2017


New Britain Museum of American Art
56 Lexington St.
New Britain, CT 06052

The exhibition Vistas del Sur: Traveler Artists’ Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection will present more than 150 rarely seen paintings, photographs, works on paper, and books dating from 1638 to 1887, that trace the evolution of landscapes of Latin America by artists from Europe and the Americas. Featuring works by artists such as Frederic Edwin Church, Martin Johnson Heade, José María Velasco, and Camille Pissarro, this exhibition showcases both romanticized scenes and directly observed illustrations of New World travel and expeditions, as well as scientific records of botanical, zoological, and ethnographic phenomena. The works attest to the ways in which the artists experienced the region, and the challenges they faced in reconciling preconceived ideals with the aesthetic realities they encountered.

Highlights of the exhibition include Frans Post’s View of Frederica City in Paraíba (1638) and Landscape with Chapel (c. 1663); Cotopaxi (1853) by Frederic Edwin Church, and Sunset: A Scene in Brazil (1864-65) by Martin Johnson Heade; Fritz George Melbye’s depictions of Venezuela (1866, 1853) and José María Velasco’s representations of Mexico (1870s); as well as extensive photographs and drawings from Auguste Morisot’s 1886 expedition up the Orinoco River.

This exhibition derives from the collection Traveler Artists to Latin America, one of five areas of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) formed by Gustavo Cisneros and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros as one of the core programs of the Fundación Cisneros, a private foundation dedicated to create awareness of Latin America’s contribution to global culture.  The CPPC is widely recognized as one of the most extensive collections of art from Latin America in private hands, and is the center of an active research, grant-giving and publication program.

Vistas del Sur: Traveler Artists’ Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection will span the Museum’s Stitzer Family Gallery, Robert and Dorothy Vance Gallery, and Richard and Virginia McKernan Gallery, occupying over 7,000 total sq. ft., the largest footprint of an NBMAA exhibition to date. The show will be on view from January 20–April 16, 2017; a Members only reception will be held on Thursday, January 19, beginning at 6 p.m. This exhibition is accompanied by the book Traveler Artists: Landscapes of Latin America from the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection, an authoritative volume on the early history of landscape painting in Latin America, edited by Dr. Katherine Manthorne, and will be available for purchase in the Museum shop.

Selection of artworks

  • Frans Jansz Post, Paisagem com capela (c. 1663)

    Frans Jansz Post

    Landscape with Chapel

    c. 1663

    Oil on wood

    43.5 x 58.7 x 1 cm (17 1/8 x 23 1/8 x 3/8 inches)

  • José Maria Velasco, Valley of Mexico (1875)

    José María Velasco

    Valley of Mexico


    Oil on canvas

    16 x 44 x 2 cm (6 5/16 x 17 5/16 x 7/8 inches)

  • José María Velasco, Ensayo ornitológico de la familia Trochilidae (1885)

    José María Velasco

    Ensayo ornitológico de la familia Trochilidae [Ornithological Essay of the Trochilidae Family] by Rafael Montes de Oca and Manuel María Villada



    28.9 x 19.7 cm (11 3/8 x 7 3/4 inches)

  • Eduard Hildebrandt, (1818‑1869)

    Sunset over Pedra da Gávea, Rio de Janeiro

    c. 1860

    Oil on canvas

    52.1 x 67.3 x 2.5 cm (20 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 1 inches)

  • Émile Goury, (1813‑1847)

    Vue de Basse‑Terre, Guadeloupe [View of Basse-Terre, Guadaloupe]


    Oil on canvas

    51.4 x 81.3 cm (20 1/4 x 32 inches)

  • Camille Pissarro, La Guaira (1852)

    Camille Pissarro

    La Guaira


    Graphite and ink on paper

    26.5 x 35 cm (10 7/16 x 13 3/4 inches)

  • Bernhard Wiegandt, Landscape (1879)

    Bernhard Wiegandt



    Watercolor on paper

    34.3 x 25 cm (13 1/2 x 9 7/8 inches)

  • Unidentified Artist, View of Havana (n.d.)

    Unidentified Artist

    View of Havana


    Oil on canvas

    67.3 x 83.8 cm (26 1/2 x 33 inches)

  • Martin Johnson Heade, Sunset—A Scene in Brazil

    Martin Johnson Heade

    Sunset—A Scene in Brazil


    Oil on canvas

    48.9 x 86.4 cm (19 1/4 x 34 inches)