Shaping an Identity: Cultural Hybridity in Mexican Baroque Architecture

By Concetta Mariella Lina Bondi.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article explores a form of cultural hybridity found in Mexican Baroque architecture, which emerged mainly as a result of the contact between European and indigenous cultures in colonial society and the subsequent ‘borrowing’ of certain elements from each. A variety of cultural influences led to the creation of architectural ‘hybrids’, as new materials and innovative techniques were introduced; fusing the old with the new, and creating a unique style as a result. An unconventional combination of styles as well as a dramatic excess in ornamentation reflect feelings of confusion and instability typical of the European Baroque; however it is the incorporation of the traditional mixed with the new that shaped the development of Mexican architecture of the period and distinguished it from Baroque architecture in other areas of Latin America. Three examples that embody the typical Poblano Baroque style are examined: the Rosary Chapel of the Church of Santo Domingo, the Church of San Francisco Acatepec, and the Church of Santa Maria Tonantzintla, with particular emphasis on the cultural hybridity they reflect given their environment and historical context.

Keywords: Hybridity, Cultural, Mexico, Baroque, Colonial, Latin America, Architecture, Identity

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.447-470. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 20.336MB).

Concetta Mariella Lina Bondi

MA Student, McGill University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities - Hispanic Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Concetta Bondi was born in London, Canada where she graduated with a B.A. Honors Specialization in Spanish Language and Literature from The University of Western Ontario. She is presently pursuing her Masters degree in Hispanic Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Her research interests include Mestizo identity in colonial Latin American society and its relation to the art, architecture, and literature of the period.

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