Portrait (oil painting on canvas) of an Inca and Ņusta/ early-mid 17th century. This is one example -among many- of portrait paintings, executed by mestizo artists, commissioned by the Cusco Hispano-Inca aristocracy of the first generations ensuing after the Spanish conquest. These are invaluable visual testimonies of the Inca period immediately previous to the arrival of the Spaniards, when memories of the near past were still fresh. A good depiction of Inca attire and raiment. Noteworthy are: the Tunic of the male figure (predecessor of the poncho) and the center belt-like band (integral part of the tunic) composed of three horizontal bands of "Tocapu" symbols (from which many contemporay Pallay derive). The lace frock around the neck bespeaks of the cultural syncretism with European elements of dress. The female figure (Ņusta) is clad in a fine edged embroidered mantle and holds in her right hand a drop spindle while her left hand feeds it unspun yarn -an example of the privileged and exhalted status of weaving and textiles in the native pre-columbian society.

Cusco Regional Museum & Lycos Pictures

Next Image