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Folding Screen with the Siege of Belgrade (front) and Hunting Scene (reverse)

European Art

This biombo enconchado—which originally included six additional panels, now in Mexico (see two illustrations of screens)—is the only known work to combine the two elite Mexican genres of biombos (folding screens) and tableros de concha nácar y pintura (shell-inlay paintings, later known as enconchados). Commissioned by José Sarmiento de Valladares, viceroy of New Spain, it was most likely displayed in Mexico’s viceregal palace, where it would have divided a ceremonial state room from a more intimate sitting room. The scene from the Great Turkish War (1683–99) after a Dutch print (see illustration) on its front side was an ideal propagandistic backdrop of Habsburg power for the reception of the viceroy’s official international visitors. The decorative hunting scene on the reverse, also based on a European print source (see illustration), was better suited for a more intimate room like the estrado.

Este biombo enconchado—que originalmente incluía otros seis paneles adicionales, ahora en México (ver ilustraciones del biombo)—es el único ejemplo conocido que combina los dos géneros mexicanos de élite: los biombos y los tableros de nácar y pintura (pinturas con incrustaciones de madreperla, conocidas posteriormente como enconchados). Comisionado por José Sarmiento de Valladares, virrey de la Nueva España, probablemente se exhibía en el palacio virreinal de México, donde hubiera separado el salón ceremonial de estado de un espacio de estar más intimo. En el frente, la escena de la Gran Guerra Turca (1683–99), que representa el poder de los Habsburgos, está copiada de un grabado holandés (ver ilustración) y era un telón de propaganda ideal para recibir a los visitantes oficiales internacionales del virrey. La escena decorativa de caza al reverso, también basada en un grabado europeo (ver ilustración), era más apropiada para un espacio más intimo como el estrado.
MEDIUM Oil on wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl
DATES ca.1697-1701
DIMENSIONS 90 1/2 x 108 5/8 in., 183.5 lb. (229.9 x 275.8 cm, 83.24kg) each panel: 90 1/2 x 18 1/8 in. (229.9 x 46 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown, by exchange
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CAPTION González Family. Folding Screen with the Siege of Belgrade (front) and Hunting Scene (reverse), ca.1697-1701. Oil on wood, inlaid with mother-of-pearl, 90 1/2 x 108 5/8 in., 183.5 lb. (229.9 x 275.8 cm, 83.24kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Lilla Brown in memory of her husband, John W. Brown, by exchange, 2012.21. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE detail, 2012.21_side2_detail3_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2012
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