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Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain

Return Journey. Art of the Americas in Spain, sponsored by Fundación AXA, recounts a little known phenomenon: the fact that following the conquest of Latin America and until its independence, more works of art arrived in Spain from that continent than from Flanders or Italy and that the movement of works was not one-directional, from Spain to Latin America, as is generally suggested. These thousands of objects, many of them created by indigenous or mestizo artists, often make use of materials, subjects and techniques unknown in Spain, while their creation reflects a range of intentions: reaffirmation of the dominance of the imperial power or the identitary aspirations of the Creole elites, as well as documentary, devotional and aesthetic reasons.

The exhibition, which also benefits from the collaboration of the Committee for Viceregal Art of the Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, features more than 100 works from Latin America which have been housed in Spanish cultural and religious institutions for centuries: objects that have become part of both Spain’s everyday experience and its historical and cultural heritage, even though all trace of their origins has sometimes been lost.