Julio Ortega (Translated by Philip Derbishyre)
In Cesare Ripa's Iconologia (Rome, 1603), the emblem of Abondanza is a Roman matron, who offers a serene prodigality in the cornucopia full of fruits, grapes and olives which she holds in her right hand, while in her left she carries a stalk bearing ears of wheat, some of which are falling to the ground. 'Bella, & gratiosa si debe dipingere l'Abondanza, si come cosa buona, & desiderata da ciaschduno, quanto bruta, & abominevle e r riputata la carestia, che di quella e contraria,' as the author emphasises. She has classical attributes, namely a garland of flowers and a green raiment embroidered with gold that represent the fertile countryside and ripe fruit and these stand in implicit opposition to dearth and scarcity. The edition of Pietro Paolo Tozzi from 1616 is supposedly 'expanded' but in fact gives us a much reduced version of the previous text on Abundance. The image is also different. The first was a solid matron, whilst the latter is a young woman who looks directly at the viewer. The pose is the same ( figura serpentinata ) but now she is bending her right knee. The images also differ in that the cornucopia is more detailed, and therefore more decorative. The stalk of wheat is no longer resting on her left arm, but is held aloft, and several ears fall on to the earth, which one guesses to be fertile. Everything leads one to believe that this edition was more popular that the former. In other editions the figure of the young woman predominates, with the cornucopia held in her right hand and leant against her shoulder, whilst her left holds a thick stalk of wheat. The manipulation of the figure by various printers points up their instrumental character. Humanist images are grounded in the applied arts: they may be allegorical drawings and moral lessons, but in the last analysis they are produced by print shops and publishers. Their conventional character comes over in the fact that whilst the story is more or less the same, the image varies from edition to edition. The first two editions of Ripa's book had no illustrations, just the allegorical descriptions, which the author says he has taken from sculptures and coins from classical antiquity, as well as Greek and Roman authors. In 1603 he published the first illustrated edition of his Iconologia , which was aimed at historians, poets, painters and sculptors who were interested in the use of allegorical figures. Other expanded editions appeared under his direction, and they multiplied after his death, appearing in different countries and different languages. A particularly rich version, because of its wealth of detail, was that of Hertel, published in Augsburg , 1758-60. It is revealing that the allegorical figure, this time in a dramatic and ornamental Baroque version has managed to eliminate Ripa's text altogether. The illustrations were done by Gottfried Eichler the Younger and each of them was accompanied by an allusive caption in Latin with its German translation, a description of the 'fatto', described in the image. In the edition put together by Edward A. Maser (New York, Dover, 1971), there are also succinct explanations of the emblems which are based on the previous editions. In this encyclopaedia of Baroque culture, Abundantia appears as the decorative centre of a moral fable, the tale of Croesus, king of Lydia . Croesus displays his wealth to the Athenian wise man Solon, who tells him that no amount of treasure will save him from a bad end, if that is what is in store for him. Solon points to a funeral pyre in the background, where the Persian conqueror Cyrus has already condemned Croesus, who thereby finds his end. Abundance bears her attributes as if detached from the drama that develops in the background: she is just passing through these dramas, but teaching the eternal lesson that all goods are transient and perishable. This association of Abundance with Fortune is not unusual, but it is more commonly associated with allegories of peace. In fact, the emblem is based on the pattern of attributes: its didactic function is realized as attribution. The history of the emblem from the beginning of the Renaissance to the beginning of the 20 th century follows the evolution of applied arts in their passage through print technology and industrial production where they gravitate towards the decorative arts, in their forms, consumption and meaning. The emblem whose origin lies in a convergence of philological taste and didactic moralizing, comes, in the first place, to confirm the power of imperial authority and colonial functionaries, and then subsequently, regionalist and nationalist imaginaries. Eventually it becomes public art, occupying a position somewhere between the ephemeral frieze and the rhetorical fresco, in the newly built palaces of the modernist, bourgeois state, where it speaks in the name of an idea of Progress, but with a neoclassical inflection.
In the Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography (Helene E. Roberts, ed. Chicago-London, 1998, I, 19-22) just as in the Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (Zurich, Artemis, 1981, I, 1, 7-10), one can see the range of artistic images of abundance - the principal paintings and sculptures, how the images were to be read morally, and what their decorative function was. According to Greek mythology, Cronos, the god of Time, devoured his children because he was afraid that one of them would depose him. But Rhea, the Earth, fled to Crete in order to protect the child she was carrying. There she gave birth to Zeus, who showed his gratitude to her by turning her into a constellation, and turned one of her horns into the cornucopia, the horn of abundance. In A Dictionary of Symbols , Cirlot reconstructs the fable according to which the goat Amaltheia fed the infant Zeus with one of her horns, which was always full of milk. The cornucopia has other allegorical associations with charity, peace, the richest parts of the world, prosperity and the zodiacal sign of Capricorn. It is associated with Ceres and Pomona , and is less a goddess than a personification of the attribute of plenty, the cultivated countryside and the harvest. Outside Italy , the allegory took on other values. In the bourgeois world of 17 th century Holland - one of the few regions of prosperity amidst generalized European crisis and poverty - painters adapted the idea of abundance to indoor scenes, and still life became its major expression, displaying the worldly luxury of domestic life and the moral lessons the scenes taught. Reworking the vanitas tradition, the painters put to one side the skull that Spanish painters had used to stress the fleeting quality of time, and in its place placed various insects, most commonly the fly.
From the Sun to the Heart
In Henkel and Schone's Emblemata (1682), a monumental encyclopaedia of different European images, we come across numerous representations that take the horn of abundance as their metafigurative sign. That is, the horn of abundance is itself a changeable element of the grammar of the emblem: its decorative character is self-referential. In a curious emblem entitled Hec Splendente (16), dedicated to Joan-Goergium March, the gentleman's virtues are proclaimed in two circular but articulated images, the sun and the heart. These are respectively cosmically and intimately central, one in the sky, the other in the body. The image suggests the symmetrical union of the sun and the heart thanks to the presence of a prominent cornucopia, fresh from the hands of the goddess. This mystical union flows from the audacious link made by the decoration and thus combines earth and body through a fertile rhetoric. Another emblem that includes the horn of abundance has Diligence or Conscientiousness as its message. On a carriage drawn by ants (emblems of conscientiousness) abundance bears the cornucopia in one arm, whilst she raises the ear of wheat in the other hand, in a gesture that emphasizes action. Seated to one side and humiliated, laziness suffers the pangs of hunger (1563). Ceres, the goddess of agriculture is associated with peace. The fertility of agriculture is represented by the ears of wheat (1560). In all these treatises on iconography, however, we have only come across a single reference to the New World . This is in the emblem 'Noui Mundi Nouus Athlas,' (S. Soto, 1199), dedicated to Hernando de Vega, governor of the West Indies under Philip the Second. The panegyric is elevated in tone: it compares the governor with Hercules (You from Heaven/with greater glory measure the New World ) and there is a drawing of two pillars tied by a banner which declares Non plus ultra. Andrea Alicato's Emblemata (1531) was undoubtedly the most widely circulated and influential book of emblems in Spain and went into numerous editions that differed greatly from each other. Diego López gave a detailed commentary on it in his Declaración Magistral Sobre los Emblemas de Andrés Alciato (An Authoritative Declaration on the Emblemata of Andrés Alciato) (1655; reprinted with an introduction by Duncan Moir (Menston, Yorkshire, Scolar Press, 1973)). López presents emblem 177, 'Ex Bello Pax' as 'Great abundance that is the outcome of peace.' This emblem, reproduced in every edition of Alciato's book, shows a soldier's helmet, bloodstained in war, but in peace turned into a honeycomb. López concludes: 'All abundance is a product of peace, whereas from war we gain only scarcity and deficit...' (605-607). Another of Alciato's emblems, 'Virtuti, Fortuna comes', presents two horns of abundance as Amaltheia's horns; two intertwined snakes represent peace, and the winged cap of Mercury the god of eloquence, represents economic success ( Emblemata , 1550, trad. de Betty I.Knott, introduction de John Manning, Scolar Press, 1976, 130; this is the same as the 1551 edition, and is reproduced with a preface by Pierre Laurens, in which he discusses various editions of the text: Paris, Klincksieck, 1997). Fortune thus produces the abundance of peace thanks to intelligence and eloquence. In his entry 'Abundantia' in the Lexicon Iconographicum Rafael Fontan Barreiro traces the origins of its representation through two developments of the trope: private abundance and public abundance. After cataloguing the classical works in each development, he notes that in the private realm the image of abundance refers back to the Campagna, and appears amongst the Lares where it is meant to benefit the material life of the family. By contrast, public, official abundance derives from the emperor Trajan and his triumphal arch, and is spread along with the coinage, on which his name is inscribed. The imperial instrument of a politics of charity, abundance very quickly reveals its value in propaganda and control. But the emblem that unites sun and heart already shows that classical spaces were founded on an emblematic metalanguage, with figures referring to its combinatory system, decoratively audacious and full of epigrammatic wit and iconic ability.
A century after Alciato, with his taste for archaeology and a propensity to moralize, Ripa develops an iconographic system which is much closer to the senses and to the physicality of sensory images. Cornucopia is generous in its emblems. This is certainly the case with those dedicated to the regions of Italy, beginning with the figure of Italy herelf, ' bellísima donna vestita d´habito sontuoso,' who bears the sceptre of imperial rule in her right hand and in her left the cornucopia, which indicates the wealth of the world over which she reigns. ( Iconologia, 1618; ed. de Piero Buscaroli, Torino, Fogola, 1988, 230-232). Cornucopia will quickly become an attribute of the various regions of Italy. But when Ripa decides to include the figures that represent other parts of the world, he is in no doubt that Europe is superior to them all: 'Regina di tutto il Mondo' and for that reason she appears flanked by two cornucopias, one brimming with grain and the other with grapes. Asia carries a bunch of flowers and grasses, and Africa a cornucopia full of grain. America, by contrast, bears no symbol of abundance: indeed, she bears the very opposite signs. In her right hand a bow, and in her left an arrow. ( Iconologia, 1603; introduction by Erna Mandowsky, Hildesheim-New York, Georg Olms Verlag, 1970). Ripa is quick to praise and he is lavish in his descriptions, but he can find no virtue in America. He sees her as a naked woman: she is savage with fearsome features, and is depicted in a blend of colours. She is a warrior, the fiercest of them all: beneath her foot lies a human head pierced by an arrow. The condemnation is plain: these barbarous people eat human flesh. Furthermore, they go about naked, even if they cover their private parts. For once the system appears not to function: it is limited by the divergent interpretations of contemporary history. Although Ripa notes that there is nothing in the ancient writers about this recently discovered region of the world, he claims that it has been documented by the 'best modern historians' and even thanks a neighbour whom he has questioned on the matter. But this material ends up in the emblem as a condemnation: after all, the emblem is produced for moral purposes, for the praise of the good and of goods. It is not meant to reveal the strangeness of the other. Given the choice between the Edenic 'noble savage' and the 'natural man' lacking in morality, Ripa chooses the latter, condemning a savage America, which is almost unrepresentable in the graphic language of the emblem. In Hertel and Eichler's 1758-60 edition, the emblem has changed register if not meaning: America is now a dark-skinned native, covered with tattoos, representing the chief of an exotic tribe, surrounded by precious stones, pearls and gold dust, the latter alluding to the legend of El Dorado. A slave attends him, giving a note of civilized luxury to the scene and making it even more incongruous. There is still a human head next to the native, pierced by an arrow, although this time it is by the side of the figure. At the edge of the image is a stake from which hangs a human arm, the sign of the cannibal feast, and in the background we can see some Indians worshiping a calf, demonstrating their paganism. An alligator, which protrudes from the image, is a symbol of American nature, primitive and dangerous. The Latin tag says: 'Everything here is in abundance, especially the gods that blind superstition has created.' The diptych in German reads: 'Because superstition prevails here, the treasures of this land are hidden.' Both sentences derive from the Reformation and introduce the gaze of the trader and businessman, who berate superstition as a barrier to progress. Once more America introduces a tension into the system of representations that reproduce normative versions of control and management of natural resources. It is no coincidence that these are related to the engravings of Theodore de Bry. These were made for a market that sought after exotic material, but are now transformed into evidence of barbarism, in the eloquent contradictions of bourgeois values. Bry also supported the attempts to discredit the Spanish colonial enterprise, which was now dismissed as itself barbaric. There is an underlying irony here: between the 17 th and 18 th centuries, America was conceived not as a territory where barbarism reigned, but as the source of wealth which drove forward the development of banking and finance capitalism. Although the 17 th century was one of inflation, crisis and poverty in Spain, in northern Europe it was one of prosperity and civilization, in part due to the gold from the Indies which nourished the power of the Italian banks. The 'polemic on the New World' has been extensively documented by Antonello Gerbi in his The dispute of the New World, the history of a polemic, 1750-1900 (1973) . As the older humanism gave way to the newer capitalism, the images of America became exotic rather than barbarous, but were no less fertile.
Barbarism is often represented by the naked human body. At the beginning of the Conquest, the natives were thought to be 'Epicurean', that is, licentious, for preferring to go about naked. In his description of the emblem 'America', Ripa vilified the savage, primarily for being 'naked'. And although it was the case that throughout the 18 th century, the statues and statuettes that were used to represent the continents in public art were of clothed figures, this image of nudity continued but more as a feature of exoticism rather than of moral or religious condemnation. So much so, that nudity lost its novelty and became just another rich language of domestic decoration. Ripa's emblems underwent another transformation in George Richardson's Iconology (London, 1777-79 & 1785, 2 volumes). M.R. DeLong and P.A. Hemnis have commented on the contrasts of clothing and nudity in the emblems of the continents in this English work ("Historic costume and image in emblem analysis," in Ayers L. Bagley et al, eds. The Telling Image, Explorations in the Emblem, New York, AMS Press, 1996, 117-126) and note that 'Europe is represented by the figure of a magnificently robed matron wearing a queen's crown. The most fully covered, she is characterized as the repository of culture, renowned for learning and arts, genius and industry... By contrast, America is the least covered of the images personifying the continents. She is said to have "tawny complexion and a fierce aspect," although her pictured countenance appears calm and peaceful -a discrepancy here between text and image...Richardson states that some of the inhabitants of this continent are very much in the dark with respect to the knowledge of the true god and religious worship. Thus the implication is unmistakable: clothing connotes culture, breeding, and superiority; nudity here implies the opposite, i.e., the primitive, the savage, or at best, unbridled opportunity.' Not for long, however, since the transfer of the emblem to artisanal production presupposed the reproduction of the object, and with this new ornamental sense, moral emblem was replaced by stage prop. The emblem establishes hierarchies, that is, it valorizes, approves or disapproves, and acts as an instrument of ideological normativity for the subject of control. The artisanal or semi-industrial figure, by contrast, through its permutations of the sign, subverts the saturated representations of authority, and manages to introduce a non-conflictual relation to the image of the Other, an image no less exotic, and perhaps even more decorative, but already part of the gallery of domestic decoration.
We can see this in the porcelain 'Figure of America' (Meissen, Germany, 1746-50), modeled by Johan Friedrich Eberlin and Peter Reinecke from a drawing by Gottfried Bernhard Gotz, which is now in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design in New York. It is the porcelain rather than the woman which is naked: the wild features have become calm, and instead of the bow and arrow, she carries a parrot on her right hand and holds a curved cornucopia in her left, which is full of different types of grain. She is therefore an almost playful representation of the signs that confirm her as a commonplace figure. The horn of abundance has been restored, not only because her fertile nature has been acknowledged, but also because the horn of plenty is now a stage prop. But the exoticism of the figure is fully indicated by the alligator on which she is sitting. This incongruity reveals the fantasy character of the representation: gracefully seated in the primordial animal kingdom (the alligator looks like a domesticated dragon), and bearing the proofs of her fertility in the plant kingdom, this American goddess no longer belongs to barbarism but to culture, that is to the control of natural forces by the decorative function of representation, which makes them legible, useful, beneficial, and in the end ornamental. America already has its place in the European imagination, no longer antagonistic to Europe, but complementary. The statues of America also show this, as can be seen in the courtyard of the Orangerie Museum in Paris. America's torso is nude, just like her companions, and now she carries a shield on which are engraved the names of the countries of America, and at her feet are spread out the fruit of plenty, dominated by the pineapple, an emblem not only of the New World, but of the Baroque itself. We have thus moved from the decorated bourgeois interior to an external, public homage to the republic. Here abundance is dispersed to the various national coats of arms and the grandiloquence of the state: it is a reference that is beginning to be redundant.
The 'Roman' style that was taken up in Spain in the 16 th century was lavish in the provision of mythological characters and allegorical scenes for the frescos, friezes and facades of the houses and palaces of the ruling classes. The imperial nobility took over the representation of Rome as a privileged point of reference that confirmed the centrality and superiority of Spanish power. As they were transferred to Spain, these Italian forms acquired a certain cumulative quality, an acting out, or over-performance of the combinations that aligned mythology with religious art, classical allegory with heroic history, and star charts with lessons in morality. The façade of the University of Salamanca, the frescos and allegories of the palaces of Charles V, the arches, catafalques and even the houses of the nobility, all reveal the taste for this multicolored lavishness from Rome, where cultural history became a way of decorating the present, situated somewhere between solemnity and pastiche. However, the artistic skill in the delicate detail, the theatrical over-accumulation, left no space free: even the corners of the staircases were decorated. The density of allegory imposed various coded readings on to these forms, saturating the works with propositions and an almost discursive determination. In his study, Pintura y escultura del renacimiento en España, 1450-1600 (Painting and Sculpture in the Spanish Renaissance, 1450-1600) (Madrid, Cátedra, 1993), Fernando Checa observes that the classical humanist programme was realized with such a wealth of detail that one of the lines from Dante's poetry was given allegorical form in the decorations of the Library in the University of Salamanca. In passing, Checa lists the inevitable appearances of Abundance in this decoration. The Granadan castle of La Calahorra has a frieze concerning abundance on its patio façade, which in 1509 was 'imported directly from Italy and erected by Michele Carlone and others...Santiago Sebastián has demonstrated that the mythological sculptures of the one of the doors have their origin in the so-called Codex Excurialensis , a sketchbook produced in Rome during the 15 th century by members of Ghirlandaio's workshop' (85). In one of the 'Allegories of Peace' on the façade of the Palace of Charles V in Granada we also have an image of Abundance amongst the allegories of the Emperor's military and moral victories (181). In the Casa Pilatos (Pilate's House) in Seville, the frescos (produced in 1530) celebrate the triumphs of the four seasons, represented by Pomona, Janus, Ceres and Flora. The subject of the triumphs comes from Petrarch and the inscriptions from Ovid, Checa notes (202). The Triumph of Ceres is certainly an apotheosis of abundance. In her wide-ranging work, La mitología en la pintura española del Siglo de Oro (Mythology in Golden Age Spanish Painting) (Madrid, Cátedra, 1985), Rosa López Torrijos mentions a 16 th century drawing by Becerra, in the Escorial, 'in which there is a goddess crowned with ears of wheat, carrying the horn of abundance in her hand', and another (Prado F.A., 798), which 'represents Ceres, also crowned with ears of wheat and holding a sickle in her right hand' (256). Juan van Hamen's 1620 picture known first as 'The Sacrifice to Ceres' and now as 'The Sacrifice to Pomona' is an interesting case. The confusion in the title stemmed from the obvious horn of abundance. But the absence of ears of wheat or corn and the presence of autumn fruit confirms that the painting depicts the second goddess, concludes López Torrijos.
As Carolyn Dean points out, once these models, especially in religious iconography were transplanted to the New World, they became the conflictual space of the new identities that began to form there. Therefore, 'the history of Spanish colonial art is more complicated than a history of Spanish arts in its colonies' ("The Renewal of Old World Images and the Creation of Colonial Peruvian Visual Culture," en Diana Fane, ed. Converging Cultures, Art and Identity in Spanish America, New York, Brooklyn Museum, 1996, 171-182). An illustrative case is that of art, 'documenting God's actions in Peru,' which had as a consequence 'a geographical locus of divine power.' Dean explains that 'The most famous of saintly visitations occurred in 1536 during the long siege of Cuzco organized by the rebellious Inca ruler Manco. According to legend, both Saint James and the Virgin Mary appeared at critical points in the battle for Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital. As a result of his efforts during the siege, Santiago Matamoros ("Saint James, Moor-slayer") was turned into Santiago Mataindios ("Saint James, Indian-slayer"). Mary was acclaimed for having appeared atop the Inca tower (the sunturwasi ) where Spaniards had taken refuge. She extinguished the fire set to the thatched roof by the rebels and flung dust (or hail) into the eyes of the enemy troops, causing them to flee...Interestingly, Guamán Poma´s illustrations of the siege underscore that it was a supernatural force that saved the Spaniards; his interpretation of the apparitions of both Mary and James show only the conquering divinity and the rebel Inca -the Spaniards are absent from his commemoration of the event. In the accompanying text he also emphasizes how the natives were defeated by divine intervention (rather than superior Spanish military technology)." Dean concludes that the native artist subtly contradicts the Eurocentrism of the Spanish accounts of the 1536 apparitions, which emphasize the heroism of the conquistadors. But perhaps the drawings are a more complicated account of the colonial process, describing a situation that is more conflictual than the military event. In the first place, this process is not a one-off confrontation but a drawn-out negotiation. Even the very protocol of the drawing, whose Spanish format is adapted by the native artist, now forms part of the new American language. This is a language of appropriation and reorganization, which is as a consequence of colonial experience and unfolds within the very system that it contradicts. In the second place, the absence of Spaniards from this encounter between Indians and religious figures suggests another point of view, that of the mestizo , who thus takes responsibility for the saints and the Indians, as if he were reappropriating superior religious forces in order to reenact and exorcize them on his own account. This is a situation of greater conflict because it absorbs the oppressor/oppressed mechanism into a symbolic resolution, into its own space where the binary undergoes productive transformation. In this case, it is the space that documents the new subjectivity of cultural hybridity and historical subalternity. In both drawings, the Indians who stand on the ground form the new, local aspect of the miracle. 'Miracle' means 'to see more': the one who confirms the exception is the interbred native, the new subject who is produced from both worlds. This subject stands on the shore of potential: with the Spanish language and the allegorical language of the tools he has appropriated, he works so that his own culture - regional and Andean - is assured a place in the midst of the new order and the new disorder.
The process of colonization was carried out at the cost of native systems of representation, which were dismantled in the conversion of the native population to Christianity. By 'ridding the country of idols' and occupying the spaces of the native imagination and religions with new arrays of images, and thus making translation into a dramatic transformation of forms and contents, the Catholic pantheon slowly but surely replaced the native equivalents. In many cases, despite the very fragmentation of beliefs, the natives succeeded in modifying the new images so that they formed a parallel system with their own: various figures of this double system flowed from one to the other, with a doubling of their protective vocation. Today we know that this mechanism of evangelization and conversion, with its erasure and rewriting was not necessarily a 'spiritual conquest' but took place on the well-worked religious landscape of Meso- and South American religious cultures, where gods of different origins and powers were superimposed on each other and tolerated by local languages and beliefs. The map of the cosmos was articulated by notions of lineage and the cycle of life was connected with that of the land and its demands. In the end native religious sentiment was regional and learned to cohabit with the imperial religions. The monological tendencies of colonial Christianity mean that the great dramas within Catholicism will occupy a shared space, and messianic movements and clandestine cults will respond to this violence. The role of painting and art in this conflictual process demonstrates both the dominant religion's capacity for destruction and the adaptive capacity of native religious practice. In his book La colonisation de l´imaginaire, Sociétés indigenes et occidentalisation dans le Mexique espagnol, XVI-XVIII siècle ( Translated as The Conquest of Mexico: The Incorporation of Indian Societies into the Western World, 16 th to 18 th Centuries )Paris, Gallimard, 1988) Serge Gruzinski gives a detailed discussion of the place of painting and writing in these processes. He claims that native artists incorporated the technologies that the conquerors brought from Spain. They also turned a novel gaze on their own world: the Nahuatl for example have a relation to the image that can no longer be characterized as indigenous (37). Even the natives who were taught in the college of Santa Cruz, thus counting as amongst the first American letrados , maintained the old traditions and knowledge alongside their Western education. The letrado Indians and mestizos of the College of Tlatelolco, who acted as translators and wrote their histories in both languages, defended their family privileges and their standing as aristocrats. Painting lineage thus became a means of proving the legitimacy of this intermediary local nobility, who adapted so as to maintain their former privileges. But from at least 1540 a 'radically new culture' had begun to emerge, expressing a clash of codes and describing the fate 'of the old forms and their preservation' (90). Gruzinski concludes: 'When the Italian Quattrocento juggled with modes of representation using old or new systems depending on the object being painted, it drew from the same cultural source, in the same society: it took its inspiration from different, but despite everything, related sources. The exceptional interest of the Mexican experience resides in the conjunction of practices that one could believe to be irreducible, bringing together traditions developed without any earlier contact. There was a multiplicity of expressive media: glyphs rubbed shoulders with the alphabet and musical notation; the painted picture met the engraving; oral transmission oscillated between pre-Hispanic or Christianized forms; plain chant and polyphony followed upon ancestral dances...Multiplicity also of languages: Latin and Spanish were added to the Indian languages, dominated by Nahuatl which served everywhere as lingua franca ' (62). Multiplicity which also reached the calendar, the repertoire of time, economic practices, and native 'paintings', those graphic forms and iconographies that hardly deserve the generic name of 'painting.' All of which explains why the native world had a 'double gaze' on things (64). A gaze that reveled in the pleasure of form, the play of adaptation, the conjuncture of disparate codes and the decorative line in which another language is quoted. This language is already a different form of expression, lacking canonical authority, perpetually open in its flexible adaptability. The wondrous quality of its fruits - the meeting of name and thing in abundance - are already reappropriated by the new cultural subject, the being produced in both registers. This subject decorates the space where he displays his incorporated forms and materials as if demonstrating in line, clay and colour that both worlds were his. The everyday pottery of Puno, in the Peruvian altiplano, found a favorite emblem in the bull. At once a chthonic figure, yet at the same time inexplicable and because of this richly decorated in spells, the bull is a graceful animal. That is because its model is the pottery figure of the llama. The native artisans produced a bull based on the model of this lithe and alert figure: it is much more Andean than Spanish, even retaining the circular depression on the figure's back, which the tiny Inca figurines of the llama had for offerings, as Dawn Ades points out in her Introduction to Art in Latin America (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1989, 5).
In his suggestive study, La península metafísica, Arte, literatura y pensamiento en la España de la Contrarreforma (The Metaphysical Peninsula: Art, Literature and Thought in Counter-Reformation Spain) (Madrid, Biblioteca Nueva, 1999), Fernando R. de la Flor discusses the ways in which the natural world was read in the emblems of the period. Having already devoted an important study to the topic ( Emblemas, lecturas de la imagen simbólica (Emblems, Readings of Symbolic Images) 1955), the author reviews previous studies on the Golden Age and modern Spanish emblem in the chapter 'Mundus est fabula, The Reading of Nature as Politico-Moral Document in Symbolic Literature'. He suggests that the emblem is a coded representation of nature whose function is both political and metaphysical. De la Flor thus constructs emblem discourse as a double reading of the natural world: an upwards reading, as the writing of God, and a downwards reading, as a lesson on the fall of Man. In the last analysis, the politico-moral vision that the emblem translates is a microcosmic vision of the human. This persuasive analysis thus suggests an important coherence within the encyclopaedia of emblems, that body whose main function would be to construct its own formal unity, projective meaning and circular, totalizing reference. The emblem is also historically situated, both geographically in Spain and culturally in a no less historical vision of nature. Two facts support the author's hypothesis about the over-coding of the emblem: the hieroglyphic and allegorical character of emblems, and the prevalence of a metalanguage of symmetrical and harmonious forms in the work of Luis de Granada, its most important exponent. This is obviously in addition to the mystical or spiritual literature that provides the basis for the emblems' main articulation.
Another reading of the corpus of emblems might disturb de la Flor's proposed 'semiotic machine'. Firstly, from the perspective of cultural history, emblems would reveal that their symbolic claims are constructed, that is they are rhetorical. The normativity that they dictate functions as a self-referential system, but often demonstrates its limits in reality. It is revealing that Ripa's iconography, for example, introduced regional differences into the representation of nature, not merely between continents, but between the different parts of Italy. And it is equally revealing that successive publishers adapted the emblem system to the interests of their public, which were inevitably economic. More interesting still is the function of the emblem of the New World, where it is both part of the language of power and a sign of its legitimacy and self-affirmation. Secondly, from a perspective of cultural criticism, the emblem must inevitably be defined in terms of its system of reproduction. It cannot be understood historically and culturally without its use value, without the evolution of the graphic arts and printing, and without the commercial bourgeoisie that cultivated it. It is no coincidence that the clergy in their evangelical programme made the allegorical emblem into one of the main tools of their mission and practice as translators.
In her book Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (New York-London, Norton, 1998), Lisa Jardine has discussed the complex system of production within the art market and the artisanal sphere, and in printing and the workshops producing luxury goods. She explains how works of art that we admire today for their virtuosity, 'were part of a vigorously developing worldwide market in luxury commodities. They were at once sources of aesthetic delight and properties in commercial transactions between purchasers, seeking ostentatiously to advertise their power and wealth, and skilled craftsmen with the expertise to guarantee that the object so acquired would make an impact' (19). This analysis of production and consumption does not deny the superior quality and value of the works of art (and their possible readings), but it does dismantle the network of power that shapes the market. In a lucid discussion of the readings and interpretations that shape the study of cultural history, Peter Burke looks at the various theories concerning cultural encounters, and concludes that 'We have returned to the fundamental problem of unity and variety, not only in cultural history but in culture itself. It is necessary to avoid two opposite oversimplifications; the view of culture as homogeneous, which is blind to differences and conflicts, and the view of culture as essentially fragmented, which fails to take account of the ways in which all of us create our individual or group mixes, syncretisms or syntheses" ("Unity and Variety in Cultural History," in Varieties of Cultural History (Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1997, 211). It is symptomatic that in his introduction Burke places his own perspective at some distance from the two extremes of 'constructivism', which assumes the discursive construction of the social and 'positivism' which considers documentary sources as true and real. This is because the critic, in adjudicating between the forms and meanings of the 'encounter' between two worlds, situates himself before, after or between them. He thus professes one or other model of reading a cultural history, which, in its complex nature, escapes a single reading, or single predetermined mode of processing facts and connections.
The art historian Julián Gállego proves to be an accomplished reader of the complexities of such connections in his indispensable Visión y símbolos en la pintura española del Siglo de Oro (Vision and Symbols in Golden Age Spanish Painting) (Madrid, Cátedra, 1996). His method is characteristic of his perspective as puzzle-solver. What he looks for in painting, he says, is both the elements taken from other spheres of culture (the contexts and intertexts that painting represents) and those plastic elements that have symbolic significance (rather than a 'pure' art, we have something closer to literature and to 'wit'). He situates himself as a reader of the symbolic background of each form, in such a way that even a supposed 'realism', such as that of Velázquez, reveals itself as full of 'references and allusions.' For Gállego, plastic forms 'hide' their signification 'under the appearance of an everyday, even banal, reality' (13). He observes the importance of Aliciato in the sources of Spanish 'symbolic culture' and the way in which he became a 'stock figure' for writers and painters. But he was not the only Italian emblemist to be taken up in Spain. There was also Paolo Giovo, who dedicated one of his imprese to Alcito: 'he dedicated the Caduceus to him, the Wand of Mercury amongst the Cornucopias overflowing with fruits, which was a symbol of fortune, in the Imprese of 1551' (47). Gállego put his own method of symbolic reading to the test when he came to deal with literary satire on mythological fables and heroes. In The Journey to Parnassus , (1613) Cervantes reduces the gods to human size, and in Everyone's Hour (1650) Quevedo turns the Olympians into laughing stocks, doing the same to Ripa's emblems en passant (63). To explain this Spanish skepticism towards the classical repertoire, and to determine the 'authentic intentions of painters who dealt with pagan themes without any real seriousness', Gállego postulates two causes: the economic crisis of 17 th century Spain, and the ideas of religion. The first cause is clearly connected with America, but Gállego does not engage with the question, even when discussing still lives, and the sorts of fruit they contain. Yet the situation of Spain during the Golden Age was proverbial: gold and silver from the Indies enriched a minority and impoverished the rest of the country. After all, 'What is Spain in the 17 th century? A collection of different realms: Castile, Navarre, Aragon, Valencia, Cataluña united under the same crown, but separated by fueros [tax and legal exemptions], coinage and customs' (63). The wealth of America stayed in the hands of the merchants of Seville or flowed out across Europe. Artists and writers suffered under this poverty yet had to praise their patrons. Like Velázquez when he wanted to be admitted to the Order of Santiago, artists had to prove 'that they had never painted for a living', that is, that they could not be confused with tradesmen (65). For religious reasons, painters had to show that they were not heretics or pagans, and were only using mythological themes for entertainment. Later, mythology would be admitted into artistic imagery in Spain, but only as 'Christianized' (79). It could also be argued that some mythological figures, like those of Velázquez, were represented through a 'realist' gaze in order to explore the limits of verisimilitude, that is, the enigma not of the eternal symbol but of the human sign. They were disturbed by the moment of the look. But Gállego's symbolic method saturates both genealogy and context of the art object. This is obvious in his interpretation of flowers and fruits with no other origin than their profusion amongst the 'Moors of Andalucia, whose poets tirelessly and with infinite inspiration celebrated their gardens' (197). 'Poor in other products, Spain had always been rich in fruit and flowers', he says, although he then observes that 'it is not so easy to read the flowers that appear alone in a jug or a basket. Nothing stops us thinking that they have a meaning that goes beyond their mere beauty' (200). The severity of this gaze, which intensifies the associations of the Baroque, explains why the fruit from America escape his vision, and why the signs of abundance are only a contrast to poverty, or a sort of decorative hyperbole. For that very reason, it is hardly surprising that when he interprets Zurbarán's famous still-life, he decides that the cup of chocolate is really a cup of water. His explanation is the following: 'I would hazard a guess that the Contini still-life...is a homage to the Virgin: the dish of citrons, a fruit still used today in Italy in Easter ceremonies; the basket of oranges and orange blossom - virginity and fertility; the cup of water - fertile purity - placed on a silver platter with a rose - Divine love...' (202). Carried away by his systematic symbolic reading, that turns the physical world into a language saturated with allegorical intent, the critic has no place for the incongruous American object and elects to empty this historic cup to fill it with water: it becomes an epiphany of God rather than the New World. However, even if we accept that the three units of this still-life (whose powerful reference to the domestic economos is proper to Baroque empiricism) form an offering to the Virgin Mary, it is still possible to suggest another reading. If the oranges and orange blossom correspond to the Virgin, the cup of chocolate on the silver platter might well correspond to a mother newly delivered of her child. After all, American chocolate was well known for its restorative abilities.
In 1908, while examining the collection of manuscripts in the Royal Library of Copenhagen, Richard Pietschmann, the director of the Göttingen Library, discovered an unknown chronicle, the Nueva Corónica y Buen Gobierno written by the Peruvian Indian Felipe Guamán Poma de Ayala. The 1200 page work with four hundred full-page drawings was published in a facsimile edition by the Institute of Ethnology in Paris in 1936. A critical edition was published only in 1981, edited by Rolena Adorno and John Murra. This is a multiple text: its Spanish, Quechua and Aymará titles, phrases and paragraphs are phonetic transcriptions, a multiple inner translation. They are also inscription and drawing, a true iconography of speech. The book was composed between 1584 and 1615 as a Letter to the King, denouncing the Spanish conquest of Peru and proposing the reorganization of colonial society. On the last page, Guamán declares that he is standing at the door of the Viceroy's palace in Lima to deliver his letter, having traveled the central Andes for thirty years and having written, he tells us, of the things "seen by his own eyes". In a letter sent in February 1615, the chronicler had to remind the King about his work. The urgency of his message possesses him: "The afore-mentioned Indians complained to the said author as the their lord; he calmed their lamentation and affliction and consoled and appeased them, saying, ´My son, entrust yourself to God and the Virgin Mary; soon we will have help.'" Injustice, though, is a loss of meaning: "And there is no remedy," the author repeats like a litany. Existence itself becomes absurd: "They persecute the poor of Jesus Christ; sometimes it is cause for laughter, at other times it is heart-rending and cause for pity. This I have seen with my own eyes." Beyond the testimony of violence itself, the text is full of its transformative and instrumental possibilities.
Gustavo Gutiérrez in his book on Las Casas ( Las Casas, In search of the poor of Jesus Christ, 1933) sees "revealing convergences between the principles enunciated by Las Casas in his Doce dudas and Guamán´s position" (449). He also observes that for Guamán, God became a human being, but a human being who was poor. In his encyclopedic reordering of Andean knowledge, in his need to preserve memory as cultural model, Guamán constructs a reading that addresses all readers in a book that is the equivalent of every book. He is aware of the boldness of his undertaking, and he is promptly obliged to defend his grand design, by telling us of "the uncultivated state of my understanding and blind eyes and little seeing and little knowing, and not being learned nor a doctor nor a graduate nor a Latin scholar." With this rhetorical strategy, he first puts forward a definition of the Andean writer/scribe. If he is neither learned nor a doctor, neither a lawyer nor a humanist, who is he? Who is this bearer of encyclopediac knowledge, who claims he knows nothing, this prodigious writer, who claims he cannot write? He is "the author," the father and son of that text in which he recreates himself. His appropriation of the Code par excellence, the Spanish language, is a kind of willful pillage; his linguistic competence is limited but his performance is unrestricted. He is, then, the other author, the new author, the author as difference. The archive of the hegemonic culture has no room for this writer who exceeds the Code. Characteristically, it is not the interpretation of truth found in the hegemonic archive that the author revises, but rather its classifications, regulations, and procedures for distributing information. He writes his own Andean multi-ethnic and pluri-lingual codification within the new archive. This organic process is the cultural spectacle of the text, where information overwhelms chronology, fractures its verisimilitude, and creates the tools to articulate a nascent discourse. One of these powerful new tools is the emblem, which Guamán appropriates by producing a drawing that borrows from the humanist and Christian repertories, but is used to account for the immediacy of change and denunciation. At the same time, it also maintains the memory of the lost order as a model for the order to come. Guamán manipulates these old forms with a certain irony: in the emblem of the vices and virtues he replaces the image of the soul being tempted with the figure of the Indian being tormented.
A more daring move will be to make his own life emblematic, that is, to propose his role as "the author" as another tool of inquiry and mediation. Guamán Poma drew his self-portrait five times. The first drawing, on the title page of the manuscript, is already an emblem of the characters implicated in the textual drama: the Pope, the King, and the Author. The three heraldic coats of arms of this configuration of religious, political, and scriptural authority are also present. This is not coincidental: the New Chronicle is a Letter and, as such, its denunciation presupposes a programme, which Guamán Poma expects to be implemented by the King. But the author also takes his work to be a book, a manuscript, whose visual communication is immediate. It is also a palimpsest of collective memory and a printed book that brings together all its audiences in a total reading. Another drawing, which clearly refers to the practice of enunciation is entitled "The Author Inquires." The text evolves from the wanderings of the eyewitness who communicates what he sees as he comes and goes, writing and drawing. But traveling and writing do not merely represent the will of the witness to record. They are also the fiction of the text inscribed in the truth of history. This writing subverts the statutes of the general Code, and superimposes its own liberating energy: the desire for a material speech marking the trace of the text, in Spanish, Quechua and Aymará at the same time. The text is in the end a map of reading in which we the readers are also anticipated, and which we must actualize. The book, having anticipated all its possible readers takes its place, as the chronicler says, 'in the archive of the world.' 'The Author Travels' shows Guamán Poma, his son, his horse, and his dogs, traveling through Peru and traversing, in fact, the text. He crosses the textual corpus in the discourse of his own story.
This biographical perspective accounts for the "I" as a collective "we" that speaks and is spoken. Hence the powerful final drama of this work, a utopian construction whose subject or operator can only be potential. The construction of the work implies the construction of the Author. Another drawing, "His Majesty Asks, the Author Replies," presents the author in direct dialogue with the King of Spain. The protocol of communication becomes fictitious: the Letter, the very body of the enunciating word has arrived at the foot of the Monarch. Guamán anticipates the King´s questions and respond to them in depth. Uchronia (history could have been otherwise with the proper actors in the drama), and Utopia (the chronicler argues for political reform, restitution, and good government), are the final task of the text: questions and answers that design the fictional tools for remaking history. There is still another portrait in which Guamán Poma places himself among the members of his family. His father had been "second person to the Inca" in the kingdom of Lucanas. His own name is emblematic: Guamán (Falcon) and Poma (Lion). A half-brother of his, a priest, taught him the Spanish language. In the end, eighty years old and impoverished he arrives at the Plaza de Armas in Lima to deliver his Letter. He is convinced that, from there, the "world-upside-down," which denies abundance, justice, and order, must be ended. "The author returns from the world to his home," he tells us, "gray-haired and frail and naked and barefoot." The fiction has come to an end: the rest is history.
The Other Abundance
In 'The First Chapter of the Months and the Years' in his New Chronicle and Good Government , Guamán Poma announces his intention to discuss the months of the year in the Indies 'which are different to those of Castile', where there are six months of summer and six of winter. Castile therefore suffers from hunger for half the year, whilst in the realm of the Indies God has provided gold, silver, fruit, bread, wine and meat the whole year round. 'If you sow and labour, there will be no shortage', he concludes. This abundance imposes a logic of distribution and justice. Following Las Casas, Guamán recalls that 'Food is served to God and His Majesty. And we adore God with it. Without food there is neither man nor strength.' The natural order is supported by the divine order, and justice is the correspondence between the two. With the same reasoning, 'We must consider the poor Indians of this realm, seeing how in said months you eat at the cost of the poor Indians of this realm of Peru.' Then Guamán immediately draws the emblems of the months of the year in terms of the different kinds of fruit that the land produces thanks to the labour of the Indians. The difference thus lies in the cosmic and ritual function of work, the labour that men and women dedicate to the process of sowing, cultivation, protection of fruit and the harvest, and their storage as a communal resource. This production of abundance, however, takes place against the backdrop of scarcity, and the injustice and disorder produced by colonialism. Guamán's account is at once a lesson about native culture, an example from the book of native memory, and an almanac of advice about regional produce. But it is also a submission on the subject of multiple 'difference': of climate, produce, cultures and realms. The emblem is the space where a system of survival is inscribed within the very account of abundance. Guamán appropriates the design of the emblem to turn it into a language relevant to contemporary reality: it deprives it of its traditional symbolism and allegorical meanings, but continues to use the exemplary character of the picture or body of the emblem. It uses the motto to place the drawing, and its didactic function is securely abstracted from Catholic hagiography, since Guamán often writes the mottos in Quechua. This is well illustrated in the wealth of detail in the drawing dedicated to the month of May, which is a veritable recoding of the humanist emblem of abundance. The motto runs: 'Travaxo, zara callchai arvi pacha mayo aymoray quilia' ('Travaxo/the time of reaping, of piling up the corn/May/the month of the harvest' according to Jorge L. Urioste's translation in the critical edition produced by John V. Murra y Rolena Adorno, México, Siglo XXI, 1980, vol 3, 1040-1041). The woman at the centre of the drawing who is carrying a stalk with leaves of corn is the Andean equivalent of the Roman matron who represents abundance in Ripa's Iconology with a stalk of wheat in her hand. The drawing derives from the emblem, but as its perspective is that of labour, the native woman is not the symbol of abundance but the agent of its production. There is a double account here: the Andean woman occupies the centre of the design, but she is only part of the action implied in the drawing. This activity includes the Indian on the left of the drawing, who has one knee on the ground, and who is harvesting the corn (he is called 'reaper, callchac '). So we have here a young couple who have gone out to harvest. Whilst he is pulling the corncobs from the stalks, leaving behind the leaves on the ground, she is making a branch out of them and taking them to the right of the picture, where we can see the storehouses for the corn, covered with cones made from the residue the plant. Labour in the harvest is directly connected to the produce being stored, to its preservation by and for the community. The model demonstrates its goodness. The Indian woman who represents abundance here carries these American plants not as symbol but as sign. They are functional object which labour will preserve as foodstuffs. The figure of the woman is in movement: although she occupies the centre of the picture, she moves towards the corn storehouses with the useful burden she carries. She carries the sheaf of stalks on her back and holds it with both hands. She is gazing forward with determination, and walks on. In the eponymous month of abundance, even 'the boys and girls who are born are rich, lucky to come into the world in a time of such wealth of food', says Guamán. Both nature and the community generate this abundance, whose 'strength' (a concept which he repeats twice in his commentary) also includes the language of the emblem, now turned into the instrument through which memory will be preserved and the future reconstructed.