Romantic Visualities and the Construction of Mexico, 1804-1844

This gallery explores the work of artists and explorers in Mexico and Central America between 1804 and 1844. Romantic explorers visually constructed Mexican history, archaeology, and geography in relation to Romantic conceptions of the picturesque landscape. Their depictions were further complicated by the contemporaneous tension between the visual technologies of the panorama and the camera lucida. Consequently, explorers in Mexico were forced to negotiate between the cultural implications of Romantic visualities—of the sublime and of the picturesque—and the values of Romantic exploration and enlightenment, such as encyclopedic recording and faithful representation.


Matthew Francis Rarey