Mulatos de Esmeraldas: About the painting...
Adrián Sánchez Galque, identified as an "Indian" painter
and member of the Quito School, painted this work Mulatos de
Esmeraldas in 1599 in Quito, Ecuador. The painting may be
Sánchez Galque's only surviving work. Like many
pre-Columbian and colonial Latin American art treasures, it is held
European museum - specifically, the Museo de América de Madrid, in
The three men depicted in the painting are identified in the painting
itself as Don Francisco (de) Arobe and (according to one source) his two
sons. They wear abundant
gold jewelry, much of which is typical of the Indians of the region.
Their clothing is obviously European, and they carry spears. Each man is
given the honorific title Don, a sign of respect in the
Latin-Hispanic world. The title of the painting further identifies the
men as "mulatos," though they may in fact
have been zambos, or Afro-Indian men. For background information on
and the history of these men, the Minority Rights Group offers the
following, in its work No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans
Another source, Leslie B. Rout, Jr. and the work The African
Experience in Spanish America, adds the following:
Of the indigenous painter, Adrián Sánchez Galque, less has
been documented. Of the Quito School, the Grove Dictionary of Art
offers the following information:
For more information (in Spanish) on the term zambo and other terms
used by the Spanish in colonial New Spain to describe the peoples of
colonial Spain according to race, race mixture(s), and place of birth. In
general, Spaniards born in Spain represented the "highest" rung on the
social ladder, with Spaniards born in the Americas (called
criollos) occupying a lower rung, with people of color
las castas) occupying still lower rungs.
Map of Ecuador
From LANIC website at UT-Austin. This will help give an idea of where
the Zambo Republic was located.
Map of Colombia
From LANIC website at UT-Austin. This will help give an idea of the
Colombian-Ecuadorean border region.
Museo del Oro: Las culturas del oro
Online exhibit of pre-Columbian goldwork from various Colombian Indian
cultures, from the website of the renowned Colombian Gold Museum. In
Iowa State University Library, Ames, IA 50011
Last updated: 06 January 2000.
Created: 06 January 2000.