MEXICAN MOSAÏC OF FEATHER
La gazette international, May 2013
" The auction house spiced up its catalogue with some extremely rare works like this painting of the Holy Family and the Trinity. Rare, you say? Well, photography does not do justice to this type of work. Go up close to it and you will see that instead of traditional paint, the artist has used feathers to delineate his composition, make effects with light and shade and suggest volumes. These mosaics of feathers (taken from exotic birds) were produced after the Spanish conquest by local artists, the "Amantacas", using ances- tral Aztec techniques under the supervision of Catholics. Intended for an elite, the purpose of these sacred images was to spread the Christian faith. Only around a hundred specimens are found in the world's museums. Of the four now in France, the oldest, at the Musée des Jacobins in Auch, dates from 1539. It shows the mass of Saint Gregory. Meanwhile the picture here stages a subject not often found: the Holy Family, probably inspired by an engraving by the Baroque painter Gregorio Bausa.
by Stéphanie Perris