By Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
This collection, which is currently in the custody of the PUCP, is part of the Julia Codesido Foundation.
Santusa Santusa (ca. 1927-1929) by Julia CodesidoPontifical Catholic University of Peru
Julia Codesido's art work
Julia Codesido was a peruvian artist influenced by the indigenist movement of the early 20th century. This allowed her work to be strongly marked by an andean aesthetic and sensibility, mainly represented by women.
The challenges of her art work
These aspects were clearly revolutionary for those years, since; until then, education in the arts was strongly marked by the masculine presence and guided by the colonial values that persisted in the culture of the time.
This painting belongs to the initial stage of indigenismo in the works of Julia Codesido. In this painting, an indigenous woman with very marked facial features can be seen, who poses in front while her face is slightly turned to the side.
From the 16th century to the mid-20th century, the absence of women, particularly mestizo, indigenous people, afro-descendants, and migrants, was a normalized aspect, both in artistic representations and in the Peruvian art scene. However, Julia Codesido's art work sought to make visible this sector of the population of women who were forgotten by society and the government.
In this painting, Julia Codesido develops the characteristic andean theme of the 20th century. The work represents a standing woman, with braids and a bare torso, who wears a colored blanket that covers her from her hips to her ankles, and who is in a cobbled room.
This work presents a nude woman who is reclining on a dark colored divan. From her neck, she hangs a cross, while her left hand covers her mouth and nose, which, together with the depth of her eyes, show her in an abstracted state of the outside.
Definitely, the art of Julia Codesido, based on an indigenist aesthetic and marked by a strong political and social component, challenged the western and colonialist academic artistic canons, which were the pillars of a history of peruvian art that did not contemplate the presence or the contribution, in an active way, of women within the social framework.
Finally, it is necessary to highlight the relevance of the works that many women artists left for posterity, and which, for several centuries, had been forgotten. In this sense, Julia Codesido was undoubtedly a fundamental pillar for the presence of women in the history of peruvian art. Her exploration of new ways of expressing herself and the revaluation of women as cultural, social and political agents have been key to the development of a more inclusive and diverse art scene.
Content: Dirección de Asuntos Culturales
Texts: Aldair Manay Meza
Photographs: Camila Tamayo Arrieta
Moyano-Chiang, G. (2020). Indias Huancas de Julia Codesido. Espacio, Tiempo y Forma. Serie VII, Historia del Arte, pp. 221–250.
Vallenas, A. (Ed.). (2014). Los tesoros culturales de la PUCP: Catálogo de arte prehispánico y popular . Lima: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.