"The Colors of New World - Artists, Materials, and the Creation of the Florentine Codex" by . Kerpel

The Colors of New World - Artists, Materials, and the Creation of the Florentine Codex . Kerpel

Getty Publications -
Paperback / softback
Publication date:
07 Aug 2014
Getty Publications
80 pages: 211 x 155 x 7mm

This is a penetrating glimpse into the first illustrated encyclopaedia of the New World. In August 1576, in the midst of an outbreak of the plague, the Spanish Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagun and 22 indigenous artists locked themselves inside the school of Santa Cruz de Tlaltelolco in Mexico City with a mission: to create the first illustrated encyclopedia in the New World. Today this twelve-volume manuscript is preserved in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence and is widely known as the Florentine Codex. A monumental achievement, the Florentine Codex is the single most important artistic and historical document for studying the peoples and cultures of pre-Hispanic and colonial Central Mexico. It reflects both indigenous and Spanish traditions of writing and painting, including parallel columns of text in Spanish and Nahuatl and more than two thousand watercolour illustrations prepared in European and Aztec pictorial styles. This volume reveals the complex meanings inherent in the selection of the pigments used in the manuscript, offering a fascinating glimpse into a previously hidden symbolic language. Drawing on cutting edge approaches in art history, anthropology, and material sciences, the book sheds new light on one of the world's great manuscripts - and a pivotal moment in the early modern Americas.

Diana Magalori Kerpel is professor at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico.