Following the death in 1700 of the last Hapsburg king on the Spanish throne, Charles II, who died without an heir, the War of Succession resulted in the installment of the Bourbon monarchy at the head of the Spanish Catholic empire. The Bourbons had different approaches to rule than the previous Hapsburg dynasty. One of the main expressions of these different approaches to governing are found in the so-called Bourbon Reforms, which were intended to restructure and modernize the empire in order to better regulate it and increase economic productivity.
Dr. Ray Hernández Durán will briefly look at the Bourbon monarchy and its policies, and examine how works of art in the exhibition reflect the developments that define the eighteenth century in New Spain and other colonial territories. Among the works we will be examining are included pinturas de casta and portrait painting.
Dr. Ray Hernández Durán is an Associate Professor of Spanish Colonial Art and Architecture at the University of New Mexico.