Jan Monstaert

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Jan Monstaert c.1535

From Rijksmuseum:

“Painted almost 40 years after the discovery of ‘America’ (by Columbus in 1492), this work of art was one of the earliest attempts by an artist to give an impression of the new continent. One striking detail is that the procession of indigenous people is depicted completely naked. There is fairly conclusive evidence that the indigenous people did not live naked at all, but that Mostaert portrayed them as such to contrast the violent Spaniards and the peaceful, heavenly landscape with its ‘unadulterated’ inhabitants. The landscape was drawn entirely from the artist’s imagination, but to convey its exotic location, Mostaert added some local details (animals and birds).”

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