Traveler Artists to Latin America
See highlights from the collection below.
Consisting of works produced from 1638 to the end of the 19th century, this nucleus of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros follows the development of landscape art in Latin America. It offers an historical account of the genesis of this genre of painting, beginning with the arrival of the Dutch painter Frans Post to Brazil in 1637, and continuing with the visits of numerous traveling artists from Europe and the United States over the course of the 19th century, when national schools of painting began to emerge in many countries of Latin America.
The paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, and photographs that make up the Landscapes of the Americas collection convey the challenges that depicting the natural environment of Latin America posed for the first artists who traveled to the region, many of whom had a solid European academic formation. The independence of numerous Latin American colonies from the empires of Spain and Portugal in the early decades of the 19th century opened those nascent nations to the gaze of artists, chroniclers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who arrived individually as well as collectively in missions dispatched by foreign governments. Driven by artistic or commercial impulses, or simply by the attraction of a romantic adventure, these traveler artists left behind an extraordinary body of work illustrating the nature and geography of Latin America.