This volume showcases dynamic developments in the field of manuscript research that go beyond traditional textual, iconographic, or codicological studies. Using state-of-the-art conservation technologies, scholars investigate how four manuscripts—the Galvin Murúa, the Getty Murúa, the Florentine Codex, and the Relación de Michoacán—were created and demonstrate why these objects must be studied in a comparative context. The forensic study of manuscripts provides art historians, anthropologists, curators, and conservators with effective methods for determining authorship, identifying technical innovations, and contextualizing illustrated histories. This information, in turn, allows for more nuanced arguments that transcend the information that the written texts and painted images themselves provide. The book encourages scholars to think broadly about the manuscripts of colonial Mexico and Peru in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and employ new techniques and methods of research.
Thomas B. F. Cummins is the Dumbarton Oaks Professor of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art and chair of the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Emily Engel is chair and assistant professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York. Barbara Anderson is an independent curator and art historian. Juan Ossio is senior professor in the Departamento de Ciencias Sociales at the Pontifica Universidad Católica del Perú, and from 2008 to 2011 served as the inaugural Peruvian Minister of Culture.
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