March 8, 2018
Arte Cusqueño - 2018

A day of art and daily life: artistic exquisiteness

I recommend you to start the day visiting the Archbishopric Place (Palacio Arzobispal), site of the Religious Art Museum. The building was constructed on top of Inca Roca’s palace on Hatun Rumiyoc Street. In the exterior you can see the doorways with is. Moorish style, the cedar carved balconies and ceilings, and the stained glass windows. In the interior you will see an interesting collection of paintings, yet the exhibition is quite messy and has terrible illumination. The valuable pieces were donated by the Orihuela family, which also has a foundation. It is the archbishopric’s responsibility to run the museum. Some of the outstanding paintings are those of Diego Quispe Tito about Corpus Christi, an incomplete series that portrays this hybrid festivity and enables you to analyze social and cultural aspects in the painting’s details.

Your next stop will be the Inca Museum (Museo Inca), owned by San Antonio Abad National University. It is located in a Colonial manor house built by the Spanish admiral Francisco Alderete Maldonado at the beginning of the 17th century (also known as “Casa del Almirante,” the Admiral’s House.) The museum has a collection of around 600 pre-Hispanic, Inca, Colonial, and Republican objects that offer an interpretation of Cusco’s history from the perspective of the Inca civilization. There are hundreds of queros (qiru in Quechua, meaning “cup”) and puyños (puyñu in Quechua meaning “jug”) of all sizes qhich makes it a beautiful but seldom seen collection as well as the collection of pacchas or stone fountains. There is also Inca funerary art (skulls, Inca mummies.) In the museum’s patio there are weavers that come from high-altitude villages, offering their high quality products. Thus, the museum’s intention is to provide a space where current traditional art can be exhibited too. Unfortunately, the precarious conditions of them museum don’t do justice to the objects it houses.

The next stop is Casa Garcilaso, the site oif the Regional Historic Museum, one of the city’s  most popular museums,. This was the chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega’s home. Beside the restored quarters of the writer, the place has am important collection of the Cusco School of painting, including “San Ignacio Obispo,” “Santa Marta,” and “San Sebastian.” There are also carved wooden relieves made by the Italian Jesuit and Mannerism champion, Bernanrdo Bitti, as well as works from Pablo Chilli Tupa, Antonio Vilca, Geronimo Guitierrez, and Diego Quispe Tito. More recently the funerary remains of the Lord of Wari have been temporary added to the exhibition. These were found in Cusco’s lower Amazon region which constitutes a whole new Challenge for Peruvian archaeology. The tomb contained a chest plate, a silver mask, around 200 beads of the same material, 17 gold pieces and more than  a hundred ceramics. The discovery has been compared to the famous Lord of Sipan findings (in Lambayeque9 from an archaeological perspective. The whole funerary set is currently under study.