CIHA 2016 in Beijing

34th World Congress of Art History

About History Press Release Sessions Schedule Activities Participants Venue Discussion Registration Closed


Westernized Artists: transmitting the canons of European Art through prints

Session 20 Professional Education and Aesthetic Education

 National University of Tres de Febrero (CONICET-UNTREF), Buenos Aires


As a result of the convenient overlap of colonial and evangelic expansion actions of the West with the mass production and circulation of European images through the 16th and 17th century, prints proved to be an ideal medium for conveying biblical stories and Christian dogmas in the Far East and Spanish America’s territories. But prints were also employed as a key instrument for achieving a rapid formation of new local artists within the standards of European art. Although the copy of prints was a common practice in Western workshops and this use was largely detailed in the artistic manuals of the time, the instruction of native artists was developed outside the professional traditions of Western art education.

As a consequence of the identification of the European prints used as sources in different parts of the Globe, it is possible to recognize similar iconographic and formal appropriations in terms of the selected subjects. These correspondences evidence the implementation of analogous guidelines imposed by the artistic canons of the Counter Reformation but it can also be understood as a result of the proven efficacy of certain images in the different evangelization contexts. The comparative analysis of these and other appropriations of European art clearly evidence the outstanding differences in the results achieved, largely due to prior local traditions and artistic formation.

This proposal will focus in the uses of European prints for the creation of westernized images through the study of several cases that evidence circulation and appropriation of prints. The comparative examination of these pictures will allow deepening in the study of non-professional artistic formation in non-European spaces.


Dr. Agustina Rodríguez Romero received her PhD in Art History from the University of Buenos Aires.  She is a Career Scientific Researcher at CONICET, Professor at the Universidad Nacional de San Martin and Universidad de Buenos Aires. Coordinator of the Art History section of the Research Center on Art, Materiality and Culture, IIAC-UNTREF and board member of CAIA (Argentinian Center of Art Researchers).

Dr. Rodríguez Romero has received fellowships of the Getty Foundation’s ‘AmeriqueLatine’ program (Paris), the Hermes program of the FondationMaison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris) and the CONICET (Buenos Aires). She has been director of several research groups regarding the circulation of religious images in the Early Modern period such as the ANPCyT project “Nomad images and artists: Visual configurations of Modernity between Europe and Latin America”, still in progress. She is assistant director of the project “Materia Americana. The ‘body’ of Spanish American images (16th to mid-19th centuries)” of the Connecting Art Histories Program, Getty Foundation, directed by Gabriela Siracusano.

Her research concerns South American painting, circulation of prints and painted images in the Early Modern period and religious iconography in European and Spanish colonial art.