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Title: Colourful customs and invisible traditions : visual representations of black subjects in late colonial and 19th century, post-independence Peru (1750s – 1890s)
Author: Melling, Helen Micaela
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 4696
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores Afro-Peruvian identity vis-à-vis national republican identity through visual representations of black Peruvian subjects in the late colonial and post-independence period (1750s – 1890s). Its foundations lie in a detailed analysis of these representations, primarily in bringing to the surface the historical articulation of post-independence representations with their late colonial precedents as an interweaving of cultural discourses. Focal points are Léonce Angrand’s (1808 – 1886) images from his time as French Vice-consul in Lima during the 1830s, and the works of German artist Johann Moritz Rugendas (1802 – 1858) during his travels in 1840s Peru. An analysis of the ‘popular’ characters and types featured in the watercolours of Peruvian mulato Francisco ‘Pancho’ Fierro (1807 – 1879) lies at the heart of this examination of 19th century images. They are the most prolific and renowned examples of Peruvian costumbrismo and constitute the most significant body of images discussed in the thesis. Photographs from the Courret Hermanos Studio provide a final source of images. My analysis of these visual discourses is complemented by a study of contemporary literary and non-fiction texts that include representations or descriptions of black culture. My findings lead me to argue for the existence of a visual tradition in the depiction of black subjects in Peru, particularly during the formative years after independence. This tradition is almost entirely related to Lima, where the largest communities of slaves, free blacks and black colonial castas were located. These findings open up new interpretative possibilities and means of exploring the symbolic centrality of blackness in the formation of a creole subjectivity and national identity in 19th century Peru.
Supervisor: Rebaza-Soraluz, Luis Alberto ; Treece, David Helier ; Sampson Vera Tudela, Elisa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available