Culture & History Digital Journal, Vol 1, No 2 (2012)

Traveling Artists in America: Visions and Views

Pablo Diener
History Department, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso, Cuiabá, Brazil


Visual registers of Latin America acquired new characteristics at the dawning of the 19th century. Alongside the pointedly secular practice of the scientific Enlightenment, naturalistic in character, there emerged an artistic current that produced images with a strong subjective quality. This American iconography of the 19th century was the work of traveling artists. In the exercise of their work, painters and drawers were led through modern esthetical premises that proposed an amalgam of artistic activity and the production of scientific knowledge. This article intends to venture into that genre of the arts based on a study of the theoretical context that sustains it, observing the range of themes it covered.


travel art; American iconography; picturesque travels; topographic paintings; art and science; Alexander von Humboldt

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