Visual representations of the Last Judgment in Spanish America and the circulation of models

Lecture by Tamara Quírico (Universidad de Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Faculty of Visual Arts and Design – Corp A – Aula A.0.11
November 27th 2023, 12:00-16.00 PM

The Last Judgment is one of the most important themes of Christian doctrine. Its theological significance justifies the importance given to its visual representations since the first centuries of Christianity. From the 13th century on, Heaven and especially Hell also began to be meticulously depicted, not only in Europe, but anywhere in Christendom, no matter how far apart. Many visual examples, then, can also be found in territories of ancient Spanish America, mainly in the so-called Postrimerías – a word which encompasses the final destination of mankind: Death, Last Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

We shall analyze some Hispano-American representations of the Last Judgment, painted between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 19th centuries. We intend to discuss the possible reasons for the popularity of representations of the Last Judgment in Spanish America, considering the expected religious functions of such scenes, which will be fundamentally the same, regardless of where or when these works were made. These religious functions also explain why these paintings, although highly inventive, are often somehow inspired by reality.

Tamara Quírico (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1976)

Tamara Quírico earned her Master in History in 2003 (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Unicamp), when she studied Michelangelo’s Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel and 16th century criticism around it. She earned her PhD in Social History in 2009 (Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ), in a joint supervision program with the Università di Pisa, in which she discussed changes in the iconography of the Last Judgment in 14th century Tuscan painting. Between 2019 and 2020 she attended a post-doctoral research period at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara, and was also visiting professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, both in Italy.

Since 2012 she has a permanent position as Professor at the Department of Theory and History of Art of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Uerj, Brazil), where she teaches courses to undergraduate students majoring in Art History and Visual Arts, and Art History courses to graduate students pursuing MA and PhD degrees. Professor Quírico studies especially Christian images, nowadays focusing mainly their uses and functions, regarding particularly depictions of the Last Judgment, as well as devotional practices and interchanges between Christian images from Europe and America.

Organized by: Oana Maria NAE (UNAGE, Iasi)