Bogotá 2: Colonial Bogotá

This album follows on from Bogotá 1: First impressions.

Bogotá is different from other Latin American capitals that I know in that there are few tourists. It has no really famous or spectacular sights. Its architecture is relatively undistinguished, especially regarding the postcolonial period. But I‘m surprised to find that it actually preserves a lot of its heritage from the period of Spanish rule. None of it breathtaking perhaps, but impressive in its own way.

The impressive Iglesia de S. Ignacio, the church of the Jesuits, was completed in 1697. Discouragingly, its doors look as if they hadn‘t been unlocked in years.
The same is not true of the adjacent conventual buildings, which house the Museo Colonial. This mostly contains colonial-era religious art, some of it astonishing.
The cloister of the Jesuits.
This very striking Coronation of the Virgin is thought to be by Angelino Medoro. Born in Naples in 1567, Medoro may have trained in Rome before picking up some Spanish influences in Seville. He then went to work in South America, first in Bogotá and nearby Tunja, then in Quito and finally in Lima. Eventually he retired to Seville, where he died in 1631.
The go-to painter in 17th-c. Bogotá was Gregorio Vásquez de Arce y Ceballos. The museum has a number of his paintings, such as this St. Francis.
St. Francis again (here receiving the stigmata), by an unknown contemporary of Vásquez.
The prize for Sexiest Saint must go to this St. Diego of Alcalá, also anonymous and also from the 17th c.
Meet Joseph Solís Folch de Cardona, Viceroy of the Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada (of which Bogotá was the capital) in the mid-18th c. Rather more public-service oriented than he looks in this portrait, on retiring in 1761 he became a Franciscan friar.
This character, named Antonio Caballero y Góngora, managed to be both archbishop of Bogotá AND viceroy of Nueva Granada in the 1780s. Sounds shady to me, but he, too, apparently did good things, especially for higher education and the furtherance of our knowledge of botany. I have yet to find out what he needed three mitres for.
Baptism of Sto. Domingo de Guzmán. Nueva Granada, 18th c.
In the old quarter of Bogotá a surprising number of dwellings date from before 1800.
This house, for example, turns out to have belonged to Gregorio Vásquez the painter.
„In this house lived and died [on 6 August 1711] Gregorio Vásquez Ceballos. His hometown Bogotá honours itself by paying this homage to him.“
Vásquez‘ house is the one on the corner to the right. So from his windows he had a fine view of the Iglesia de la Candelaria opposite. (Or maybe it annoyed him because its construction took place under his nose.)
Iglesia de la Candelaria (1688-1703)
Iglesia de la Candelaria ( Nra. Señora de la C.)
The style of the painted decoration would seem to point to the late 18th/early 19th c. rather than the period of construction. In fact the Spanish-language Wikipedia article on the building ascribes at least some of it to Pedro Alcántara Quijano Montero (1878-1953), „a Colombian artist, engraver, author and set designer“ (according to the English-language Wikipedia article on him). By contrast, the Wikipedia article on the building says the high altar is 18th-c., whereas I remember reading in the church that it dates from the turn of the 20th c. It does look awfully perfect, usually an indication of the availability of machine-tools. Unfortunately I only glanced at the information provided in the church as we were pressed for time, thinking I would be able to check on the internet later. This turns out to be not so easy. It is possible that the information in the church that I thought referred to the main altar in fact referred to another altar in the church.
At last, some coffee in this (no doubt colonial-era) patio.

Next album — Bogotá 3: Monserrate