The mulatto gentlement of Esmeraldas

Andrés Sánchez Gallque1599

Museo de América

Museo de América

This work was ordered for Phillip III by the oidor (judge) Juan del Barrio de Sepúlveda in 1599. It represents Francisco de la Arobe and his sons Pedro and Domingo, indian caciques of the Ecuadorian region of Esmeraldas who, after “the conversion, reduction, settlement and doctrine of mulattoes, Christians, infidels, and war in the province of Esmeraldas”, submitted to the authority of the Spanish crown. The three characters, who usually only wore “blankets and shirts like other indians”, on this occasion have covered “their blackness with the Spanish jerkin and cape, dressed in the Spanish way, to send to the King as a souvenir”, as the oidor describes. He also describes the ornaments of “flat gold chains on their necks, nose rings, earrings, lip piercings and rings in their beards and buttons in their noses”, typical of the indigenous world around them. The image is completed with an iron-tipped spear as a reference to the African world. Europe, Africa and America are present in this work. Painted by a native artist, Andrés Sánchez Gallque, it uses Western pictorial language to communicate to the King of Spain the submission to the Crown by a part of the population known as “maroons”. They were escapees from the Spanish ships that had sunk on the Pacific coast, and they became caciques of the indian population.

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  • Title: The mulatto gentlement of Esmeraldas
  • Creator: Andrés Sánchez Gallque
  • Date Created: 1599
  • Provenance: Ecuador
  • Original Tittle: Los mulatos de Esmeraldas
  • Cultural Context: Viceroyalty of Peru
  • Type: Unknown
  • Rights: http://museodeamerica.mcu.es/
  • External Link: CERES