- School of the Master of Calamarca
School of the Master of Calamarca, Archangel Uriel, about 1725. Oil paint on canvas; 52¼ × 37⅜ in. Gift by exchange of Althea Revere, 1971.463.
While the depiction of archangels is found in European art, the lavishly costumed, gun-bearing angels painted in Peru and surrounding areas during the Spanish Colonial period seem to be unique to the New World. These archangels can be interpreted as an army of protectors of the Catholic faith. Their weapons are the mid-fifteenth century harquebus, the first gun to be fired from the shoulder, an invention of the Spanish. The elaborate clothing is a blend of 18th-century European and indigenous fashion and indicates the high status of the wearer. The use of red and blue paints, particularly in the depiction of feathers, is distinctive to art from this region and evident here in the angel wings and hat plumes. These colors were sacred to the Inca and were symbols of high status and nobility.
--Julie Wilson Frick, 2015