Folding Screen with Indian Wedding, Mitote, and Flying Pole (Biombo con desposorio indígena, mitote y palo volador)

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Folding Screen with Indian Wedding, Mitote, and Flying Pole (Biombo con desposorio indígena, mitote y palo volador)

Mexico, circa 1660-1690
Furnishings; Furniture
Oil on canvas
Overall (4 panels): 66 × 120 in. (167.6 × 304.8 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by the Bernard and Edith Lewin Collection of Mexican Art Deaccession Fund (M.2005.54a-d)
Not currently on public view

Provenance

Possibly King Louis Philippe I of France, Duke of Orléans (r....
Possibly King Louis Philippe I of France, Duke of Orléans (r. 1830–48); as a wedding gift to his son François d’Orléans, Prince of Joinville (1818–1900), married to Princess Francisca of Brazil (1824–1898), daughter of Dom Pedro I (1798–1834), emperor of Brazil, c. 1843; by inheritance to François’s nephew Gastão d’Orléans, Count of Eu (1842–1922), married to Isabel Bragança, Princess Imperial of Brazil (1846–1921), niece of Francisca; by inheritance to their son Pedro de Alcântara de Orléans e Bragança, Prince of Grão-Pará (1875–1940), married to Countess Elisabeth Dobrezensky of Dobrzenicz (1875–1951); by inheritance to their son Pedro Gastão de Orléans e Bragança (1913–2007), married to Princess María de la Esperanza de Bourbon Dos Sicilias (1914–2005), Petrópolis, Brazil; by inheritance to their children Pedro Carlos de Orléans e Bragança (b. 1945), Manuel Álvaro de Orléans e Bragança (b. 1949), Cristina de Borbón de Orléans e Bragança (b. 1950), and Francisco de Orléans e Bragança (b. 1956), Rio de Janeiro; Rodrigo Rivero Lake Anticuario, 2002; LACMA, 2005.
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Label

Folding screens, or biombos, were introduced in New Spain by the early seventeenth century. This example depicts an Indigenous wedding amid pre-Hispanic performances.

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Folding screens, or biombos, were introduced in New Spain by the early seventeenth century. This example depicts an Indigenous wedding amid pre-Hispanic performances. On the right, the newlyweds leave the church, while participants on the left—including Spaniards in typical mid-seventeenth-century clothing—gather outside the bride’s house. Dancers in lavish costumes perform a mitote, a dance with a figure impersonating the Aztec emperor Moteuczoma. A juego de palo (in which a man tosses a log in the air) and an aerial palo volador (flying pole) also mark the festivities. The biombo was likely intended for export to Europe to provide a glimpse of local landmarks and traditions.


From exhibition Archive of the World, 2022 (for more information see the catalogue entry by Ilona Katzew in the accompanying publication, cat. no. 29, pp. 156–62)
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Bibliography

  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World. Exh. Cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011.
  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800: Highlights from LACMA’s Collection. Exh. Cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books/D.A.P., 2022.
  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World. Exh. Cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2011.
  • Katzew, Ilona, ed. Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800: Highlights from LACMA’s Collection. Exh. Cat. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books/D.A.P., 2022.
  • Katzew, Ilona. Casta Painting: Images of Race in Eighteenth-Century Mexico. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.
  • Rishel, Joseph J., and Suzanne L. Stratton, eds. The Arts in Latin America, 1492-1820. Exh. Cat. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art; Mexico City: Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso; and Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2006.
  • Muchnic, Suzanne. LACMA So Far: Portrait of a Museum in the Making. San Marino, California: Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, 2015.
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Exhibition history

  • The Arts of Latin America, 1492-1820 Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, September 17, 2006 - December 31, 2006
  • Inventing Race: Casta Painting and Eighteenth-Century Mexico; La invención del mestizaje. La pintura de castas y el siglo XVIII Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, April 4, 2004 - August 8, 2004
  • The Arts of Latin America, 1492-1820 Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, September 17, 2006 - December 31, 2006
  • Inventing Race: Casta Painting and Eighteenth-Century Mexico; La invención del mestizaje. La pintura de castas y el siglo XVIII Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, April 4, 2004 - August 8, 2004
  • Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 6, 2011 - January 29, 2012
  • Archive of the World: Art and Imagination in Spanish America, 1500–1800 Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June 12, 2022 - October 30, 2022
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