Garden Party on the Terrace of a Country Home
Unknown Artist, Garden Party on the Terrace of a Country Home, Mexico, about 1720–30. Canvas, oil, gilding, and wood. Denver Art Museum Collection: Gift of the Collection Frederick and Jan Mayer, 2009.759
After the Spanish occupation of the Philippines in 1561, Spain opened its own official trade route to Asia. In Manila, exotic Asian goods were loaded onto Spanish galleon ships and transported across the Pacific to Acapulco where they were offloaded on to mules for the overland trip to Mexico City where they might be sold. Remaining goods continued on to Veracruz where they traveled to Spain via the Atlantic galleon ships.
Inspired by Asian examples, colonial Mexicans used folding screens to divide spaces, block drafts, and create privacy in their homes. This screen provides a glimpse into daily life. Clusters of people are shown enjoying a garden party on the terrace of a country home. They play cards, gamble, smoke, flirt, drink, and make music. There are only about a dozen screens in existence with scenes like this; all were made in Mexico City in the 1700s and most are in private collections. The DAM’s screen is one of the earliest known and is the only such screen in a U.S. museum.
--Donna Pierce, 2015
- Meadows Museum, Dallas, 09/1/2004 – 10/31/2004
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