style that was inspired in the pieces made by Bernardo
Bitti (1548-1610) pupil of Miguel Angel, Mateo de
Alessio (1547? - 1631) and Angélico Medoro (1565-1632?),
and it was created by Gregorio Gamarra
They had in common compositions of traditional
religious figures, of exquisite decoration, with
abundance of flowers and gold.
They used the technique of the "stew" that consists
in gilding on cloth or wood, and then scraped to
discover the original gilding.
The Cusco School (Escuela Cusqueña)
was an artistic tradition that centered on Cusco in the
17th and 18th centuries, after the 1534 Spanish conquest
of the city. The Cusco School is considered the first
organized artistic center in the New World.
The Cusqueña paintings were a form of religious art
whose main purpose was didactic. The Spanish, who aimed
to convert the Incans to Catholicism, sent a group of
religious artists to Cusco. These artists formed a
school for Amerindians and mestizos, teaching them
drawing and oil painting. (The designation "Cusqueña,"
however, is not limited to the city of Cusco. These
artistic traditions spread to other cities in the Andes,
as well as to Bolivia and Ecuador. The Cusqueña style is
generally thought to have originated in the art of Inca
painter Diego Quispe Tito.
Cusqueña paintings are characterized by their use of
exclusively religious subjects, their lack of
perspective, and the predominance of red, yellow and
earth colors. They also used a lot of gold, especially
with images of the Virgin Mary. Though the Cusqueño
painters studied Byzantine, Flemish, Andorran and
Italian Renaissance art, their works were freer than
those of their European tutors: they used bright colors
and distorted, dramatic images, and depicted their
native flora and fauna as a backdrop in their works.
Most Cusqueña paintings were created anonymously because
of pre-Columbian traditions that define art as
The largest collection of paintings from the Cusco
school is in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo (Cusco).