Empires, Environments, Objects

Max-Planck Partner Group 2022-2027

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima – Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz

Dome of the Chapel of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Jesuit Church of La Compañía, Arequipa, Peru

The aim of this project is to explore the web of connections and conflicts among the visual and material cultures and its transformative power in diverse communities of people across the global territories under Spanish and Portuguese rule, with a particular focus on early modern Latin America and the Pacific Rim. The main actors of this research will be the Empire, in its political declinations and infrastructures; the Environment, in its diverse stable or mobile forms; and the Object, be it artistic, artisanal, or natural. As a group, thus, we not only seek to tell stories and travels of specific objects but also to reveal the entangled reasons that generated their dislocations, as well as how objects were transported; the ways in which they were transformed, manipulated, and packed throughout their displacements; the different meanings that they acquired; their impact on local visual and material cultures; and, finally, how objects might have transformed - or been transformed by - the environments in which they lived their peripatetic lives.




Fernando Loffredo | Principal Investigator

Fernando Loffredo is Assistant Professor of Early Modern Mediterranean and Colonial Visual Culture in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and Visiting Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima. His primary research interests are trans-Mediterranean artistic relations, sculpture and the urban space, and the dialogues between art and poetry in the early modern world, with a particular focus on the territories under Spanish rule across the globe. He was the Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow 2015-2017 at CASVA (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC), and Harvard’s I Tatti/Museo Nacional del Prado Inaugural Fellow 2020-2021. Within the network of the Max-Planck Institutes, Professor Loffredo was the recipient of postdoctoral fellowships granted by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz and the Bibliotheca Hertziana.


Cécile Michaud | Affiliated Faculty and Coordinator at the PUCP, Lima

Cécile Michaud is Associate Professor and Director of the MA in History of Art and Curatorial Studies at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima. Her research interests focus on the material and visual culture of the Viceroyalty of Peru between the 16th and 18th century, the correlation between text and image, and the relationship between religious literature (such as sermons, sacred poetry, and hagiography) and the work of art. She earned a PhD from the Université de Strasbroug (2003) with a dissertation subsequently published under the title Johann Heinrich Schönfeld. Un peintre allemand du XVII siècle en Italie (Munich: Martin Meidenbauer Verlag, 2006).  She is co-author or co-editor of the following books; De Amberes al Cusco: El grabado europeo como fuente del arte virreinal. Colección Barbosa Stern (Lima: Impulso Editorial, 2009); Escritura e imagen en Hispanoamérica. De la crónica ilustrada al cómic (Lima: Fondo Editorial PUCP, 2015); Arte antes de la historia. Para una historia del arte andino antiguo (Lima, Fondo Editorial PUCP, 2020). Professor Michaud was the recipient of a DAAD doctoral fellowship (1999-2000, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität) and KAAD Postdoctoral Fellowship (Kunsthistorisches Institut, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, 2017).


Andrea Giuliana Tejada Farfán | Affiliated Research Assistant and Doctoral Student, PUCP  

Andrea Giuliana Tejada Farfán earned an MA in History of Art and Curatorial Studies at the PUCP and is currently a PhD student in History at the same university. Her reserach focuses on Viceregal Art in Peru, with a particular interest in the Jesuit Italian painter Bernardo Bitti and his workshop in the context of Andean visual culture. She was an international student at the Universidad Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, and she got grants Fundación Carl y Marilynn Thoma and the PUCP. She also teaches at the Facultad de Educación y Humanidades at the Universidad Católica Sedes Sapientiae, Lima.


Patricia Carolina Mendoza Mori | Affiliated Administrative Assistant and MA Student, PUCP

Patricia Carolina Mendoza Mori is a graduate student of the MA in History of Art and Curatorial Studies at the PUCP. She earned a degree in Philosophy at the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya (UARM), and she has an extensive experience as academic coordinator and administrative assistant at the PUCP. Her research interests are related to contemporary art, education, and gender studies. She is currently working on a MA thesis about the Peruvian artist and activist Claudia Coca, with a particular focus on themes of mestizaje, decolonial discourse, and feminism.




Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima

Weitere Informationen


RSA San Juan, Puerto Rico

The Max Planck Partner Group organized its first round table to discuss the themes of the research project at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico (March 9-11, 2023). Besides the PI Fernando Loffredo, organizer of the event, were present the coordinators Cécile Michaud (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) and Gerhard Wolf (KHI) together with invited discussants Olga Acosta (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia), Christina H. Lee (Princeton University, USA), Renata De Almeida Martins (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil), Felipe Pereda (Harvard University, USA), and Agustina Rodríguez Romero (CONICET/Universidad Tres de Febrero/Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina).

MA Seminar

Arte y Cultura Visual en Hispanoamérica

This year, Fernando Loffredo taught his first graduate seminar entitled "Arte y Cultura Visual and Hispanoamérica" for the MA in Art History and Curatorial Studies at the PUCP, Lima. This is the teaching component of the Max-Planck Partner Group in partnership with the PUCP. Here, together with Cécile Michaud and the MA students visiting the Museo de Arte de Lima (June 10, 2023).

MA Seminar

Extracurricular Activities

The MA seminar at the PUCP organized by the Max-Planck Partner Group included a series of extracurricular activities, such as visits to private art collections in Lima. Here (June 30, 2023), students visiting the Barbosa-Stern Collection of Colonial art and directly exploring the materiality of several works of art. We kindly thank Aldo Barbosa Stern and Silvia Stern Deutsch.


PROLIMA Collaboration

Throughout the next five years, our Max-Planck Partner Group is willing to establish a strong academic collaboration with PROLIMA (Municipal Program for the Restoration of the Historic Center of Lima). We are grateful to Luis Martín Bogdanovich, Director of PROLIMA, who gave us a special tour of the sites currently under restoration (July 1, 2023).


Barroco-Açu. A América Portuguesa na Geografia Artística do Sul Global Collaboration

Fernando Loffredo participated in a field trip in the Amazonian region of Belém do Pará and the Island of Marajó organized by Renata Maria de Almeida Martins, Principal Investigator of the Research Project "Barroco-Açu. A América Portuguesa na Geografia Artística do Sul Global" (Projeto JP2 FAPESP, Universidade de São Paulo). Our Max-Planck Partner Group will be collaborating with "Barroco-Açu" in the next five years and the two projects will join forces in several academic initiatives. Here, the 18th-century painted ceiling with a grotesque head from the Jesuit church of São Francisco Xavier, Museu de Arte Sacra do Pará, Belém (July 23, 2023).


América en el centro, Mexico City/Puebla

Fernando Loffredo participated in the five-day international conference "América en el centro," which took place in Mexico City and Puebla from October 16 to 20, 2023, and was organized by Pablo F. Amador Marrero (Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM) and Paula Mues Orts (Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía, INAH), with the support of the Cirima Project.


Matinée at the KHI

The workshop at the KHI (January 19, 2024) consisted of two presentations that yielded from the first year of research activities of the Max Planck Partner Group, given by Cécile Michaud ("From Tortured to Martyr in Eternal Glory: Antonio de la Calancha's Moralized Chronicle and Friar Diego Ortiz's Portrait in the Convent of Saint Augustine in Lima") and Andrea Tejada ("Bernardo Bitti in the Viceroyalty of Peru and his Jesuit Collaborators: Pedro de Vargas, Giuseppe Avitabile, and Gonzalo Ruiz Ambrosio").


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