Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America

Two portraits of different women from the 18th-century wearing very ornate dresses and wigs

Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America

August 14, 2022
January 8, 2023

About the Exhibition

Golden brocades and voluptuous fabrics are a characteristic visual feature of Spanish American art. 

Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America addresses the social roles of textiles and their visual representations in different media produced in Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela during the 1600s and 1700s. Beyond emphasizing how aesthetic traditions of European and Indigenous origin were woven together during this period, the exhibition showcases the production, use, and meaning of garments as well as the ways they were experienced both in civil and religious settings.

Delve deeper into details featured in the show by reading our blog post The Unusual and Ravishing: Beauty Marks, Cochineal, and Prints Galore by Daniel Ymbong.

Join the conversation on social using #PaintedClothATX

This exhibition is organized by Rosario I. Granados, Marilynn Thoma Associate Curator, Art of the Spanish Americas

Members get free admission.

This video is also available in Spanish on our YouTube channel.

Upcoming / Past Events

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Further reading and additional resources on Casta paintings can be found in this bibliography.


A book titled "Painted Cloth" on a chair

The accompanying catalogue for this exhibition is available for purchase at the front desk and online via Amazon.

248 pages, 8.00 x 10.50 x 1.70 in, 140 color images

*$45 (excludes tax)
*SPECIAL OFFER! Purchase the catalogue at the museum and get 50% off! Ask our Visitor Services Team when you visit.

Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America
Edited by Rosario I. Granados, Marilynn Thoma Associate Curator, Art of the Spanish Americas

This lavishly illustrated exhibition catalogue focuses on the social role of civil and religious clothing in Latin America during the 1700s.

Photo Gallery

Woman’s dress and petticoat ("robe à la française"), England, circa 1770, silk plain weave ("faille") with metallic thread supplementary-weft patterning and metallic thread bobbin lace, r"obe à la française" center back length 52 5/8 in.; petticoat center back length 33 5/8 in., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Costume Council Fund (photo: © Museum Associates/LACMA)
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Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art.

Lead funding for this exhibition and accompanying catalogue is provided by the Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation and a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom, with additional support from the Scurlock Foundation Exhibition Endowment.  

Thoma foundation logo
Logo for National Endowment for the Humanities

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Feature Image Credit

Attributed to Pedro José Diaz, Portrait of Rosa de Salazar y Gabiño, Countess of Monteblanco and Montemar (detail), Lima, circa 1770–1780, oil on canvas, 37 x 29 3/4 in., Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase through the generosity of Jeanne and Michael Klein in honor of Marilynn Thoma, 2019; (right) Miguel Cabrera, Doña María de la Luz Padilla y Gómez de Cervantes (detail), Mexico City, circa 1760, oil on canvas, 43 x 33 in., Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund and Dick S. Ramsay Fund