Tupac Yupanqui XI, Inca

Tupac Yupanqui XI, Inca

After Marco Chillitupa Chávez
Cuzco, Peru Lima
Oil on canvas
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Belinda Straight

After Marco Chillitupa Chávez, Tupac Yupanqui XI, Inca, 1830-1850. Oil paint on canvas; 25¼ × 19¼ in. Gift of Dr. Belinda Straight, 1977.45.12.

frame height: 27 1/16 in, 68.7388 cm; frame width: 21 in, 53.34 cm; frame depth: 1 1/2 in, 3.81 cm
Mayer Center, Latin American Art
Latin American Art

This painting is one of a series of sixteen (1977.45.1-.16) showing the ancient rulers of the Inca Empire. It is not only a family tree but a political tool. Since proof of aristocratic Inca blood entitled people to special privileges and freed them from paying taxes in the Spanish Colonial period, paintings were used to document and assert this heritage. The set of paintings ends with Francisco Pizarro (1977.45.16), the Spanish conqueror of Peru in 1534, shown in his European armor.
     Although romanticized, the Inca male rulers wear the uncu, an exquisitely woven tunic, and an aberrant version of the llautu, the traditional royal headdress complete with red forehead fringe. The painting of the Inca queen (1977.45.2), Mama Occollo, shows her wearing the traditional women’s mantle, or lliclla, a rectangular cloth worn across the shoulders so that the stripes appear horizontally across the back, and held in place by a tupu pin inserted horizontally in the front. The geometric textile patterns in all the paintings are reminiscent of tocapu designs on traditional Inca noble clothing, signifying rank and status.
--Donna Pierce, 2015

Known Provenance
Private collection, London, late 1950-early 1960s; Book dealer, London; Purchased by Harry Shaw Newman [1896-1966] via (Old Print Shop, Inc.), Boston, MA and New York, NY by November 1962; Purchased by M. Knoedler & Co, New York, November 24, 1962; Purchased by Ramon Osuna [1937-2019] via (Pyramid Galleries), Washington, D.C. by October 1971; Purchased by Belinda Straight, Washington, D.C, 1976 [1]; Gifted to the Denver Art Museum, July 1977 [1] On loan from Belinda Straight to the Denver Art Museum, October 1976
Exhibition History
  • “ReVision: Art in the Americas” — Denver Art Museum, 10/24/2021 – 7/17/2022
  • ReVision: Art in the Americas, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN, 7/1/23 - 9/17/23