Retratos 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits Marion Oettinger, Miguel A. Bretos, Carolyn Kinder Carr, Elizabeth P. Benson, Christopher B. Donnan, Kirsten Hammer, María Concepción García Sáiz, Renato González Mello, Luis Pérez-Oramas, Luis-Martín Lozano, Teodoro Vidal

Publication date:
11 Oct 2004
Yale University Press
304 pages: 305 x 248mm
12 b-w + 200 color illus.


The tradition of portraiture in Latin America is astonishingly long and rich. For over 2,000 years, portraits have been used to preserve the memory of the deceased, bolster the social standing of the aristocracy, mark the deeds of the mighty, advance the careers of politicians, record rites of passage, and mock symbols of the status quo. This beautiful and wide-ranging book—the first to explore the tradition of portraiture in Latin America from pre-Columbian times to the present day—features some 200 works from fifteen countries.

Retratos (Portraits) presents an engaging variety of works by such well-known figures as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Fernando Botero, and José Campeche as well as stunning examples by anonymous and obscure artists. Distinguished contributors discuss the significance of portraits in ancient Mayan civilizations, in the world of colonial Iberians, in the political struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and in a remarkable range of other times and locations.

With a wealth of informative details and exquisite color illustrations, Retratos invites readers to appreciate Latin American portraits and their many meanings as never before.

Marion Oettinger, Jr., is senior curator and curator of Latin American art at the
San Antonio Museum of Art; Miguel A. Bretos is senior scholar at the National
Portrait Gallery, Washington; Carolyn Kinder Carr is deputy director and chief
curator at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington. Contributors to the book
include Elizabeth P. Benson; Christopher B. Donnan; Kirsten Hammer; María
Concepción García Sáiz; Renato González Mello; Luis Pérez-Oramas;
Luis-Martín Lozano; and Teodoro Vidal.


?The text . . . is productive in that it provides its reader the great opportunity and incentive to explore more rigorously the history, craft, and meaning of portraiture within specific Latin American countries and time periods. Highly recommended.??Choice

?Retratos: 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits should not be missed, not only because of its aesthetic rewards, but also because, for many of us, the show?and its informative catalog?will fill major gaps in our knowledge.??Karen Wilkin, Wall Street Journal