17th century Mexican folding screen to be auctioned

The unique Mexican folding screen depicts different scenes from the Conquest of Mexico and a view of Mexico City. The piece portrays News Spain's identity and history

17th century Mexican folding screen to be auctioned by Sotheby’s
The screen dates back to the 17th century – Photo: Taken from Sotheby’s website
English 28/09/2019 10:31 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 10:41
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On Thursday, Sotheby’s auction house put up for sale a unique 17th-century Mexican folding screen called “Biombo with the Conquest of Mexico and a View of Mexico City.” The piece is expected to reach from USD $3 to $5 million through its online sale that will conclude next October 11.

The sale of this piece is considered as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity, declared Anna Di Stasi, Director of Sotheby’s Latin American Art Department, and due to its cultural value it will have to remain in Mexico, that is, it cannot be exported.
 

The folding screen, which comes from a private collection, is made of 10 panels and is 1.8 meters high and 5.4 meters long. Its manufacture dates back to the 17th century and is part of a series of screens that looked to capture the identity and history of creoles in New Spain.

For this representation, two different scenes are on each side of the pice. The first one has the representation of the Fall of Tenochtitlán, based mainly on The True History of the Conquest of Mexico by Bernal Díaz del Castillo.

In this first side called “The Conquest,” the artist portrayed, in detail, the meeting between Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma. The work is not a set scene in history for along the panels it shows a series of events, such as “The Night of Sorrows.”
 

The other side of the folding screen contrasts with an aerial view of the new city, with an emphasis on the peaceful life in America under the Spanish crown. Buildings such as the National Palace, the Cathedral, the Alameda, and Chapultepec can be seen.

The city landscape is based on a 1628 map of the city made by Juan Gómez; a plan that is currently part of the University of Texas collection.
 

Other pieces of the same collection of folding screens are in institutions like the Franz Mayer Museum and Mexico City National History Museum, as informed by Sotheby’s in a release.
 

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