Colonial Art Museum, Art Galleries, Culture

Quito was established on 6 December 1534 in an area that is surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges, green landscapes, a picturesque valley and forests that are thick and filled with bird song. It is an inspiring location and it is not surprising that the art galleries and art museums reflect the surrounding beauty. Quito is home to many popular attractions in Ecuador as well as the exciting Fiestas de Quito - a vibrant festival that commemorates the anniversary of the founding day of Quito. The Colonial Art Museum, or Museo de Arte Colonial, is just one of Quito's great attractions.

The history of Quito is safely preserved in a colonial house that dates back to the sixteenth century and was established as a museum in the year 1938. The Colonial Art Museum is filled with heritage and nostalgia that gives the visitor the opportunity to take a visual tour through various historical changes as well as the lives of the people that helped to make Quito into what it is today. The colonial period in Quito’s history was turbulent and this is depicted in many of the artworks – some of which are difficult to look at as some of the paintings the religious art division are vulgar and filled with bloody scenes. It was believed that these tragic and stomach turning pictures would scare the indigenous inhabitants of Quito and the surrounding areas enough to force them into believing in God and showing interest in religion.

As the official home of Quito’s heritage, the Museo de Arte Colonial has a great collection of all the plans that were drawn up for Quito. The collection begins in the eighteenth century and carries on through to the twentieth century. This gives visitors to the museum insight into the progress and development that changed the face of the city over the years.

Works of art that are exhibited in the Colonial Art Museum include beautiful sculptures and paintings that date back to the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The art that was collected between the years 1534 and 1820 show the great importance that the sun played in that time and that the people from this era had great respect and adoration for women. The colonial art in the Museo de Arte Colonial is both an example of European-styled art and that of pre-Columbian art. A number of paintings on display originated from the School of Quito. There is also furniture from the colonial period on display. In addition to this, the museum has a rare twelve-piece collection of paintings that were created by Rodriguez and Samaniego – both artists were colonial art masters. A visit to one of the most remarkable art attractions in Ecuador is definitely recommended.

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