The first sample of historical painting in Colombia occurred on Thursday August 8 leap year 1816. This is the quintamiento suffered that day by some Patriots Campaign South prisoners in jail in Popayan, at the hands of realistic Captain Laureano . Gruesso 
the bottom of the drawing, the author wrote these words: “José María Espinosa Prieto in the dungeons of Popayan when he was shot Quinta do for the year 1816. Picture painted by him in the dungeon.” José María Espinosa, the flagship of Nariño, made ​​this drawing in ink and wash on a small sheet of white paper. In his Memoirs of a champion, published by José Caicedo Rojas in 1876, Espinosa tells quintamiento in the episode “I, led by my good humor, and my love of drawing, I did a caricature of Don Laureano Gruesso with my stick China ink I got from Santa Fe, and I did not abandon all season until my return, and pouring brush a rush or straw wet with saliva. “

Policarpa Salvarrieta up to execution. 
Oil copyright unidentified nineteenth century. 73 x 91 cm.National Museum of Colombia, Bogotá

The flagship relates the following: “In the event we did form there in row; and as I knew that the fifth was to count from right to left from one to five, and those to whom fell the latter number was sentenced to death, had the courage to get out up to two times in row and counting from right to left and I always liked the fatal number [...] But this was not the system quintar they would use us but of ballots. They being formed brought in a boy about ten years and put in a jar twenty ballots funkiest of which seventeen were blank and the remaining four had written one [point] M, they handed him over to be passing in front of the row. Then I saw that I had lost my job to tell and it was illusory hope I had that touched me number three. Each drew his ballot, the desenrrollaba and showed, and if I had the M, Jimenez said the colonel: “You Take a step forward and go to chapel! ‘”.The scene, drawn synthetically shows the two facing rows of prisoners and soldiers and the Spanish realistic head with his sword drawn as a cartoon figure. All the drama of the historical moment stands at the confrontation between the two sides. 
Half a century later, but before publishing his memoirs, Espinosa repainted the Quintada, this time in the album
historian José María Quijano Otero, which is preserved in the Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango. Espinosa again narrated the episode of quintamiento and accompanied with a watercolor covering more detail in presenting the group of prisoners and the prison yard, even to differentiate in detail dresses Patriots. The cartoonist and illustrator also included some humorous elements: the patriot chief appears now back on the wall and draws his reply with a dog and other characters in the form of graffiti, and the sign “quantum morior melior” maximum stoic. Officers who took ballot death were nothing short of José Hilario López, Rafael Cuervo, Mariano Alejo Posse and Sabaraín, Salvarrieta Policarpa lover. On the album, Joaquín Paris that “López, drew his ballot after death, instead of flinching made ​​her a cigarette and then went to the chapel saying, I’ll smoke my luck …”. But the next day, when convicts were at the foot of the bench in the Plaza de San Camilo, where they found the bodies of other patriots shot came from Quito pardoned by President Toribio Montes, who saved their lives. Espinosa signed and dated his account on December 16, 1869.


As is known, historical painting is a genre that has appeared intermittently in the history of Western art. We know the famous Hellenistic mosaic of Alexander in the battle of Issus, found in the excavations of Pompeii, which is like an unavoidable reference model for all historical painter. Also come to mind, and in the modern era, some prominent examples, such as the series of historical paintings Salon Kingdoms in the Palacio del Buen Retiro, which belongs Surrender of Breda or Spears, Velazquez painted between 1634 and 1635, or the series of twenty large compositions of the History of Marie de Medici to gallery Luxembourg in Paris, painted by Rubens between 1622 and 1625. However, the rise of historical painting occurs with neoclassicism, with romanticism, especially with the French Revolution, with the advent of Napoleon and the school of painters of his environment: David, Baron Gros, Isabey, Boilly, Gérard, Girodet, Ingres, Guérin, then Delacroix, or Goya in Spain and Benjamin West, dean of Anglo-American history painting. Later, the pictorial academicism throughout the nineteenth century welcomes history painting as its own genre, both in Europe and in America.

Murder of Sucre. 
Oil of Pedro José Figueroa, 1835. February 00 cm x 139.5. Collection Banco de la República, Bogotá

José María Obando Berruecos in morning dress. 
Lithograph by Carlos Casar de Molina, Cartagena, 1835-1836.

A historical painting always tells an event of national, current or past history. It implies, therefore, an attitude of realism, which testifies to the fact witnessed, or rebuilt with a concern for historical accuracy past events. These facts must be significant to the history of a country, and generally involve a transit point or a rite of passage: a foundational act, a pledge, an ascension to power, a sacrifice, an abdication, a battle access to another life stage. The struggle, heroism and moral values ​​underlying historical painting and give it its justification. In this sense, all historical painting is necessarily political, because it serves a few ideas and a certain conception of the human being. In general, historical painting also extols the value, freedom, loyalty and patriotism. And in any case, always civic virtues, through faith in ideas, whatever they may be, to the cult of righteousness and truth.

History painting exalts the individual (sometimes in the form of the hero), to the community and nature, ie, the landscape of a country, often also becomes the protagonist, as in the famous Battle of Espinosa. But the exaltation can use symbolic forms, and then becomes allegorical painting, which is not properly historical, since no longer narrates an event as it occurred.

The realism that involves a historical painting involves attention to detail. The appearance and attitudes of the characters, costumes and objects, scenery, are particularly important. The composition and the effects are more complex than in a conventional paint. So history painting can not avoid theatricality, as they can not even keep music and classical drama, or opera, which also draws on history. Finally, say that the limit of historical painting is realism. As it is broken with the art of the twentieth century abstraction, historical painting declines and disappears. In Colombia, which flows arrive late art, history painting still survives half century.

Death of General Santander . Oil Luis García Hevia, 1841. 163 x 205 cm. 
National Museum of Colombia, Bogotá.

It never was knight ladies as well served. Watercolor José Manuel Groot, ca. 1847. Old Collection Rivas Sacconi, Bogotá.


In the colonial period, only two paintings develop a historical theme: Gregorio Vásquez delivers two of his works to the Augustinian fathers, an idealized allegory and Income Viceroy Solis to the convent, ie their religious profession as Fray José de Jesus Maria in the convent of San Francisco on February 28, 1761. Solis, kneeling at the foot of the altar of the Virgin, embrace the crucifix and rejects their lay robes and his habit of Knight of the Order of Montesa with a vehement gesture hand. On the ground, gloves and baton which has stripped the viceroy, put the dramatic note.

Policarpa Salvarrieta up to execution, anonymous fabric around 1825, marks the beginning of a rich iconography. Beatriz González says, “The meticulous work of the faces of Christ and shows that the painter had full knowledge of his craft. The alteration of the volumes makes this box a clear precedent painting Fernando Botero. The treatment of color recalls the elegance of colonial paintings. “ Indeed, this painting is like a Republican ex-voto of a certain popular primitivism. Beatriz González considers this work as “one of the most remarkable examples of Republican painting”.

Pedro José Figueroa, author of numerous portraits of Bolívar and some religious paintings, painted Murder of Sucre in 1835, in large format, five years after the death of Sucre and three years before dying himself. In this painting historical painting and politically motivated bind, because 1835 is the year that a new application of José María Obando for President of the Republic is launched in Panama, and it is known that Obando was identified as the mastermind the murder of Sucre.

Figueroa’s painting contains a veiled complaint no Obando. The time of the murder occurs at the mouth of a theater stage, in which the viewer watches from a high viewpoint, as if placed in a box. On the way Berruecos Mountain, quarterback drops bullet wound, his horse fled in terror and his assistant surprised, Lorenzo Caicedo, his white mule stops before coming to the aid of the victim. Four gunmen (including Juan Gregorio Sarria and Jose Erazo) are hidden at the top and bottom of the ravine “tiger”, ie Obando looks. The picturesqueness of this painting becomes more apparent intention of the painter’s ironic that here, reviving a historical fact, skirts caricature. Moreover, his story matches the Posada Joaquín Gutiérrez would in their historical and political memoirs, published in 1865. José María Espinosa also painted this matter, around 1845, although in his painting landscape leaves secondly the protagonists and the gunmen do not appear in the scene.

José María Obando Berruecos in morning dress is a lithograph by Carlos Casar de Molina recorded in Cartagena in 1835 or 36. In the background also staged the murder of Sucre, which, as is known, occurred about nine o’clock 4 June 1830, hence the “morning dress”.

Juanambú 1814. 
Watercolor José María Espinosa, ca. 1848. 
13.4 x 21 cm. 
National Museum of Colombia, Bogotá.

Battle of the Ejido de Pasto, 1814. 
Oil of José María Espinosa, ca. 1850. 
80 x 120 cm. 
National Museum of Colombia, Bogotá.

On May 6, 1841, at 6:32 pm, at the age of 48 years, died in Bogotá Francisco de Paula Santander, resulting consternation of the city and the country. That same year Luis García Hevia painted large format your canvas Death of General Santander.Pilar Moreno de Angel says: “This work of great testimonial value is the most important historical picture of the nineteenth-century Colombia.” And it is, no doubt, by its intensity, its plastic effectiveness, its concentration, which meets in a tight space to 17 characters, and its sober contrast of black and white, with touches more color, which show a remarkable economy of means. The drawing is neat, and accurate implementation of the portraits, characters that are fully identified. Apart from naivety and clarity of approach again find here, we can not help but appreciate the Republican austerity emanating from this work.

There is an engraving by Louis Marin Lavigne, executed in Paris around 1845 on a defunct version of this picture by Espinosa, where the Republican lesson is lost. Santander is transferred to a soft bed with canopy and curtains brocade, friends assume a bourgeois character and atmosphere is warm. The two servants are removed from the scene!

Never out ladies gentleman served so well is a caricature of José Manuel Groot, done in watercolor by 1846 or 47, during the first government of Tomás Cipriano de Mosquera, who appears trowel in hand, surrounded by his henchmen. Above, a raven holding a cartouche with the legend “Progress of the country”, associated with a crab, as you know, go back. Other legends ironic complete the picture. The block of stone and marsh may allude to Mosquera constructor Capitol, but can also be an explicit reference to its relationship with Colombian Freemasonry.

William Martin, the dog Phosphorus and constituents. Watercolor José Gabriel Tatis, 1853. 
Album “Test drawing”. National Museum of Colombia, Bogotá.


Thus we reach the famous series of battles José María Espinosa, a highlight of historical painting in Colombia, to be dated between 1848, the year that showed a sketch of Alto Palacé in the Exhibition of Products Industry, and 1863, the year he died Alejandro Osorio. In the last paragraph of his Memoirs of a champion, the artist says: “I also made eight shares of war that are in Palacio habérmelas purchased by the government when he was president for the second time Don Manuel Murillo T. Some of these pictures, who were long in my power, were approved by the general gentlemen Joaquin Paris, Hilario López i by Mr. Dr. Alejandro Osorio, who was secretary general Nariño throughout the southern campaign. “ The purchase was completed in 1872, amounting to five hundred dollars.

In these eight warfare campaign Nariño must add two others painted in the same format, the Battle of Boyacá and Action Castle Maracaibo. His dates are uncertain and provisionally can be ascribed to the same period of mid-century. Consider that the painting of battles is all an important subgenre of historical painting.

Watercolor Juanambú 1814 shows essentially the conception of his paintings Espinosa has battle: a dramatic detail in the foreground, military action in the median plane and at the bottom, all inserted into the grandeur of the landscape. As well has always said about these battles, in them, “nature dominates the historical narrative”. But we must not fall into a performance you see in these pictures only landscape.

The Pola in chapel. Oil of José María Espinosa, ca. 1857. 80 x 70 cm. Municipal Council, Villa de Guaduas.

Ricaurte in San Mateo. Pencil drawing Alberto Urdaneta, ca. 1885. 
15.5 x 11.5 cm. Private property, Bogotá

For the sake of brevity, we will refer only to the Battle of Ejidos de Pasto that was fought on May 10 of the year 14, with the defeat of the patriots. Espinosa noted that in El Calvario, combat site, Nariño horse fell dead with a bullet, “he says and then loaded on the overall number of troopers, he, without abandoning his horse, one leg on one side and other other animal faithful, quickly pulled their guns … “It’s the scene that is seen in the center of the frame.

On 20 May 1853 the Congress of New Granada issued a new constitution, approved the following day by President José María Obando. The Cartagena Lieutenant José Gabriel Tatis watercolor painted in just thirty-three days an album of 23 sheets drawing titled Essays and dated June 15, 1853. This album contains 136 pictures, including the author himself on the cover and representatives and senators who participated in the constituent, President Obando, Vice Obaldía, members of the diplomatic corps and some foreign residents in the capital, plus views salons Senate and House. The result is the most amazing cast of characters neogranadinos half century and exaltation by a radical painter power of the people’s representatives and the only example of the genre of portrait of existing corporation in the nineteenth century in our country. The faces are perfectly individualized and characterized, like the costumes, military uniforms and religious habits. Even portrays Phosphorus, the dog of Mr. William Martin, who was not Congressman: he was owner of the album and donated to the National Museum in 1913.

Another exceptional case is the Antiochian painter Manuel D. Carvajal, who left a picture of the seven martyrs executed by order of Mosquera in the episode called The siege of Carthage (1841) and the stunning series of watercolors on the burning of the temple of San Augustine during the siege of Bogota by the troops of General Leonardo Canal on February 25, 1862, action that also photographically recorded the painter Luis García Hevia.

By 1857, José María Espinosa painted La Pola chapel, an oil medium format, which the painter presented Mr. Manuel Murillo Toro on July 20, 1873, “as a small token of his benevolence,” according to an inscription in ink black on the back of the box. In his prison Colegio Mayor del Rosario, Policarpa candle in chapel at a table with a crucifix, guarded by a guard. Bring scapular and a paper with the words “Santander” and “Casanare”.

Soldiers marching. Oil Eladio Rubio, ca. 1902. 
94 x 76 cm. Historical Museum, Casa de la Cultura, Marinilla

The oath of the flag of Cundinamarca. 
Central panel of the triptych oil Francisco Antonio Cano, 1913. 
254 x 564 cm. National Museum of Colombia, Bogotá.

Academic painting

Epifanio Garay, his son and Narciso Alberto Urdaneta are outstanding representatives of academic painting of the late nineteenth century. Paths of the first versions of La Pola chapel are preserved; Caldas de Urdaneta is the paint up to execution.As is known, Urdaneta was a great artist, but not very good painter; however, his image of Caldas provides an immediate reading, ie, presents an effective iconography. The hero just throw the coal that has drawn on the wall his famous anagram of “or long black line”, and leaves the Rosario to the plaza of San Francisco, where he will be beheaded, to October 30, 1816. The gestures are too smart and operatic for this time of sacrifice and Figure shadow monk evokes a Gothic novel.

With the title Bachelor Caldas, Antonio Rodriguez recorded the work of Urdaneta to be flattered as raw subscribers the first year of Illustrated Newspaper Paper in 1881. It is the size of a sheet. It is known that Urdaneta, whose paintings are not prolific, also painted other matters of history as a Discovery of the Pacific Ocean by Balboa (held by carved) and Ricaurte in San Mateo, now disappeared. Yes a photographic composition of this subject, in which Roberto de Narvaez landed attributed to Julio Racines, but directed by Urdaneta, and also a small pencil sketch with the basic outline of the composition is preserved. This should have been done around 1885.

Two pictures of the War of a Thousand Days, an Antiochian painter who is not on the histories of art, were recently removed from oblivion Marinilla Historical Museum for the exhibition Hundred Years of the Thousand Days’ War in the National Museum.The painter named Eladio Rubio and his oils painted to 1902. One is titled Wounded in battle, and presents a true iconography, but distinct from everything we know of that war photography and printmaking. It is not an easy painting: foreshortening pose a tour-de-force for any painter, and Rubio multiplies in his work. Blue and red is the symbolic chromaticism of this war of conservatives and liberals. Soldier marching is a tribute to the central figure: the joanne, looking at viewer and walks with grace peasant. The hebria and exalted the first soldier figure also look to the painter in a gesture of collusion, and the figure of injured reminds the plague of Jaffa who claim to Napoleon in the box Gros, though of course nothing to do iconographically speaking.No in Colombian history painting a so eg tribute to the common people. The painter and sculptor Marco Tobon Mejia Antioquia painted a Battle of Palonegro in 1905; staged a cavalry charge of which he was an eyewitness.

Over the Llanos, 1819. Oil of Jesús María Zamora, 1910. 
145 x 200 cm. Colombian Academy of History, Bogotá.


Over the Llanos, 1819. 
Detail of the head of Bolívar.



War of the Thousand Days and loss of Panama Colombians awoke in the need to think about the country, about his past and his destiny. The foundation of the Colombian Academy of History and the celebration of the centenary of the proclamation of independence, of the martyrs of the homeland, the liberator and the fourth centenary of Bogotá Colombian encouraged painters to treat historical issues. This incipient national historical painting school has nothing to do with the Schools of the second half, romantic, pompous and academic nineteenth century, but reflect nilly some modernizing tendencies, with lessons learned from Impressionism. Naturally, there are survivals of the academy, but not usually. A second feature, which has no exceptions, is the desire of environmental documentation: geographical and urban sites, portraits of the characters, costumes and objects. The Colombian history painting has in this regard fantasy, but strictly speaking, does not invent but recostruye. It is modest in creative terms, but relates the facts honestly. And, thirdly, it is a modern painting as leaving the chiaroscuro and uses light and vivid colors. Many of their representatives come from the landscape school and adapt their knowledge to history painting.Zamora and Santa Maria are notable examples.

The oath of the flag of Cundinamarca is a triptych oil painting on canvas, painted by Francisco Antonio Cano in 1913. José María Caballero Records in his diary: “Friday August 31 [1831] They came to St. Augustine all officers and Campania. grenadiers and other gunners, and grenadiers wore Auxiliary flag, which had weapons of the king, and brought the new flags to bless, with the arms of the republic. demoted to the first … [and later] is began with the blessing of the new, who blessed Mr. Canon Duquesne, with the usual formalities. “ In the central body Duquesne, José María del Castillo and Rada, Antonio Baraya carrying the flag, Antonio Nariño jurándola, José de Ayala, Manuel Bernardo Gutiérrez and Pantaleon Alvarez appear. It has been thought that the bearer can be Antonio, son of Precursor, but should rather José María Espinosa.

Battle of Boyacá. Triptych Oil Andrés de Santa Maria, 1926. 
348 x 634 cm. Casa de Narino, Bogota.
On the left side, before the high altar, an altar boy and two officiants, father and hero Francisco Antonio Florido, Franciscan, troop chaplain, and Father Jose Chavarria, provincial of the Augustinians. The right side is dedicated to women in Independence. There are differences on the identification ladies, though no doubt they are portraits: María Josefa Lozano and Magdalena Ortega, wives of Manuel Bernardo Alvarez and Antonio Nariño, respectively; Natalia Silva, wife of Antonio Nariño Ortega. Back, Phrygian caps, the two daughters of Precursor, Mercedes and Isabel.

The whole triptych, in any case, is very imaginative in terms of the different perspectives adopted each panel, which enrich the narrative and the solemnity of historical fact, and likewise their color. Five days earlier, on August 26, had come to the capital an “office of Sámano for the surrender of the city and obedience” as recorded by the chronicler Caballero. The ceremony of degradation of the flag of the king and the swearing of arms of the republic was the response of Nariño. The triptych was made for the Palace of the Governorate, but was transferred in 1948 to the National Museum, and being saved from the fire of April 9.

With oil 1819 Patriots in the Llanos, Jesús María Zamora won the gold medal at the exhibition of the centenary of 1910. The work presents an approach of extreme simplicity. The column moves led by Santander and Bolivar, after fording a river. No trumpets, no gaudy uniforms, almost no weapons either. Patriots advance to step their horses on a golden grassland. The stripping is moving. The resolution is what counts. But the small column leaving behind the clouds moving towards a light area.I think that is the great symbol table: Post tenebras spero lucem. Light after darkness. In the details of the heads of Bolivar and Santander we note the sensitive and modern work of the faces, which to the naked eye can not see. The same occurs in his canvas Bolivar and Santander in the campaign of the Plains, the National Museum. It is the dawn and everything is permeated with light in a superb prairie landscape. In Boyacá, Ricardo Acevedo Bernal shows the army of liberation campaign of 1819 and Bolívar waving in triumph to the troops. It is time for excitement and celebration of Freedom achieved.

To commemorate the centenary of execution Pola new scenes were laid in 1917. Miguel Diaz Vargas recorded in zinc intima Sergeant Iglesias prison to Pola for the newspaper The Graphic, according to the account of Mrs. Andrea Ricaurte Lozano, whose Living Room Paint Ideas in the neighborhood Egypt heroin was hidden, as the foot illustration says. Being an engraved in black ink, the artist summoned all his ability to handle light.

Ricardo Acevedo Bernal, also drew a masterly Policarpa on the scaffold to a widespread lithography, which had consequences in folk art. José Hilario López, who recounted the whole episode in his memoirs, says: “La Pola marched steadily up the torture, and rather than repeat what they said ministers did nothing but curse the Spaniards and expensive to revenge.”

The centenary of the battle in 1919 comes the picture of Cartagena painter JW Cañarete entitled Allegory of the Battle of Boyacá, where the Libertador intimate surrender to the royalist leader José María Barreiro, captured by the soldier Pedro Martinez. Santander at the forefront of cutting edge approaches in the center and on the bridge greets the general Antozoátegui.The allegorical nature of the work is that the painter selects an ideal time after the battle, to gather in one place to allegorical Libertadores and the defeated boss. In the clouds, in the center of clarity, other horsemen ride: the figure of Bolivar in the dimension of the hero.

The year 19 is also the work that bears the following inscription: “Going through the savannah towards the Liberator Army Bogotá after the victory of Boyacá, August 10, 1819″. Medium format, and decidedly primitive, its author, boyacense painter Francisco de Paula Alvarez makes a reinterpretation of the setting practiced by Espinosa, including anecdotal figures in the foreground, the movements of livestock and to the detail of smoke in the background.

Foundation of Bogotá. Oil Pedro A. Quijano, 1938. 
110 x 160 cm. Colombian Academy of History, Bogotá.

The battle of Bonza. 
Oil of Luis Alberto Acuña, 1950. 
200 x 150 cm. Collection Juan Manuel Acuña, Bogotá.

The year 1926 is The Battle of Boyacá, Andrés de Santa María, Triptych 3.48 on 6.34 meters, and in itself heroic dimensions. It was painted in oil on canvas to chair the Oval Room of the Capitol and is the most important historical painting of the twentieth century in terms of advanced art. Battle of Boyaca With this came the post-impressionism painting of Colombian history. Bolívar takes center dash Santander the left and llaneras hosts the right, in which championed tabby with leather chaps and hat with tricolor band has believed see a self-portrait, as only character who faces the viewer . The work is pure color and simplicity does not depart model Zamora, although here the characters occupy the foreground. This lack of heroism provoked criticism from the moment that the box was installed in Congress, despite being a work that fits very well in his time, ie, in the twenties. Its realism, the abrupt and melancholic landscape, the fatigue of the horses, fatigue Bolivar, in short, the “lack of epic conception of the whole,” as denounced the painter Tavera was criticized. Max Grillo tried to justify to Santa Maria with the concept of psychological and historical realism.But it was not understood that “soldiers almost naked” and captains “saddened by fatigue” could preside over the sessions of Congress. The storm passed, but no discontent. Twenty years after the triptych was welcomed at the presidential palace, and replaced in the Oval for the “Capitoline” mural Martinez Delgado. And yet, as I said Gabriel Giraldo Jaramillo when the paint was removed, this remains “one of the most heartfelt history paintings and brilliantly executed our painting”.

To celebrate the fourth centenary of Bogotá in 1938, Pedro A. Quijano painted box Foundation of Bogotá. It is his masterpiece, together with the First Mass celebrated by Fray Domingo de las Casas. The scene and the characters are raised naturally, in allowing the pomp and circumstance. Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada up the sword, beside the famous lábaro or banner that is stored in the National Museum. The work of armor and costumes is a perfectionist, in the background the thatched roofs of some of the twelve huts are perceived, and the characters and landscape merge into a colorful hue, but without fanfare. Again we observe an effective narrative.

Nariño and the Rights of Man. 
Oil Enrique Grau, 1983. 159 x 189 cm. Casa de Narino, Bogota.

Policarpa Salvarrieta led to the scaffold. Oil Pedro A. Quijano, ca.1944. 128 x 96 cm. House Museum July 20, Bogotá.

In other works, Quijano not achieve the same quality. Brawl July 20 falls in the picturesque illustration, as a fairytale; in Policarpa Salvarrieta led to the scaffold, he sent to the National Exhibition of 1944, adopts a frame reminiscent of Caldas de Urdaneta, and the execution of Camilo Torres, 1948, does not leave the picturesque and the characters start acting like puppets, with certain lack of character; in Ricaurte in San Mateo, restates a theatrical setting in which characters declaim with operatic gesture. But the figure of Ricaurte, with blight in hand and eyes bulging, it expresses the terror of the end time and the decision to slaughter. The paintings of martyrs Peter A. Quijano are genre painting, amazing for its time-forties when great changes of contemporary art were given, but undoubtedly are now icons of history homeland. History painting provides unforgettable images that feed the visual culture of the inhabitants of a country.

Similar is the case of paintings Leudo story of Coriolanus, who owes more prestige to the illustration to painting. The oil output Viceroy Palace, known for a copy, because the original was destroyed on April 9, is a simple palace scene without drama and without excessive documentation. And the Signing of the Declaration of Independence exhibits correction without passion, perhaps as befits an objective witness. The painter, of course, provided the key to his box, indicating the identity of all the characters portrayed.

Between 1945 and 1947, Santiago Martínez Delgado set about painting the mural for the elliptical room of the Capitol, which represents Bolivar and Santander in his inauguration of the presidency and viscepresidencia of Colombia, in Rosario de Cúcuta, 12 July 1821. This triptych would replace that of Andrés de Santa Maria, which had aroused much controversy, and remember the little oil Ricardo Acevedo Bernal entitled The Founding Fathers leaving the Congress, the Quinta de Bolivar. The moment chosen by Martínez Delgado’s triumph. The dress uniforms, golden chatarreras, flags and cheer attitude makes this book an apotheosis of the Libertadores, an exaltation of the state. To the right of the central panel, attendees shout cheers for the heroes; Rosario church in the background, notes the vital time in the Republic, but the architectures that frame the steps are the Roman Capitol. The whole is toned yellow, blue, red and white. The pillars of Elliptic living naturally incorporated into the composition. On the left, as in a box, ecclesiastical authority. On the right, other military descend to meet up with Bolívar and sabers showy hats as trophies. However, there is little martial excess and civil figuration, perhaps as befits the war. Cúcuta is the institutional confirmation of independence, and that is what the artist wants to represent.

With his personal pointillist technique, Luis Alberto Acuña turns his attention to the world of conquest and indigenous. The battle of Bonza is a large canvas, variegated figures and metallic sheen, painted in 1950, just as his oil baptism Aquimin. Acuña denies the depth of space, keeps its figures on the fabric surface and interacts as if working in relief. Painter and historian at the same time it is an exceptional case and unmistakable, always rooted in indigenous issues. As a painter of history, it is clear that renews the issues and takes the genre to a dimension of great originality.

Passed half of the twentieth century, apart from the teachers appointed can not fail to refer to Ignacio Castillo Cervantes, muralist San Bartolomé de la Merced, the Living Constitution 86 in Congress, for the great pictures of the Bolivarian Society, and until recently illustrator interesting species postal historical themes. Back to contemporary art movements, Castillo was the only grower of historical genre in the 70 and 80. Its importance lies in being his successor.

Contemporary painters do and history painting. However, gender revived in some exceptional works, such as Nariño and Human Rights (1983), Enrique Grau, Box Corporation: Constituent (1991), monumental triptych Beatriz Gonzalez and Juan Cardenas oil paintings recreating the presence of historical figures some scenarios of nineteenth-century Bogotá, such as Plaza de Bolívar and the seventh race, inspired by the painter Ramón Méndez Torres and the writer Antonio Rodríguez; Cárdenas finds an outlet historicism in environmental evocation of the past, but that past is evoked history.

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