Over 450 years ago, after the Spanish conquest took place, arts produced during those days by the so called ‘Reino’ (‘spanish reign’) began to change.

The city architecture (religious and non-religious buildings), plastic arts, music, literature, dramatic art, dancing arts as well as hand-crafts acquired mixed impressions between the European Hispanic art of the time and the own of these American latitudes.

The wealth of Guatemalan art counts with art-works from the Spanish colonial time, which includes altarpieces (retablos), collective arts (many of them are anonymous), made with high aesthetic and religious value, many produced with high technical quality and first-rate materials.

The Altarpieces (retablos) are a very important part of the interior atmosphere of churches and religious buildings in Antigua Guatemala, the design, detail, technique and materials used to create them provide huge visual and documentary information about the architecture, culture, history as well as the society of the time when those were produced.

In Antigua Guatemala, the altarpieces used to separate areas within the church and temple. The purpose of the designs was “teaching”, to focus the catholic visitors to the church as well art-lovers attention to Saints (religious and artistic style).

This is the first article on this interesting subject, for there is more to tell about the religious art in Antigua Guatemala...