The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism

  title={The Pleasures of Taxonomy: Casta Paintings, Classification, and Colonialism},
  author={Rebecca Earle},
  journal={The William and Mary Quarterly},
  pages={427 - 466}
  • R. Earle
  • Published 1 July 2016
  • Art
  • The William and Mary Quarterly
Abstract:A new model for thinking about the socioracial categories depicted in casta paintings (remarkable eighteenth-century Spanish American images representing the outcome of “racial mixing”) takes seriously both their fluidity and their genealogical character. Approaching classification, and casta paintings, from this direction clarifies the underlying epistemologies that structured colonial society and helps connect the paintings more explicitly to the debates about human difference that… 
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