Potosi: Colonial Treasures and the Bolivian City of Silver by Pedro Querejazu
Founded in 1545, the Bolivian city of Potosí's importance as a great silver mining center resulted in its emergence as an artistic center for painting, sculpture, and silverwork. By the year 1600, it had become the largest city in the Americas, but as its mines yielded diminishing wealth the city slowly declined. Although little known outside of Bolivia today, it was recognized by UNESCO in 1985 as a World Heritage Site.
This book represents the first exhibition ever to present the artistic achievements of Potosí in the context of its complex and unique cultural history. It seeks to illuminate the fascinating story of Potosí by presenting magnificent works of art created in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when Potosí's sophisticated artistic schools flourished. Lavishly illustrated essays relate the city's rich heritage in architecture, painting, wooden sculpture, and silver, while a section of more than fifty color plates captures some of the most magnificent representations of both religious and secular art forms. The text appears in both English and Spanish.
This handsome volume contributes substantially to the recovery of Potosí's memory so that its artistic legacy will be more widely recognized and appreciated throughout the world.
Pedro Querejazu and Elizabeth Ferrer curated the Potosí exhibition for the Americas Society and the Fundación BHN, La Paz.