This book is a timely contribution to the literature in English about Latin American art. It is the first extensive English-language survey of Mexican art since Joshua Taylor's translation of Justino Fernández's book Arte mexicano, de sus orígenes a nuestros días (1958), published as A Guide to Mexican Art (1969). The later compendium Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries (1990), released in connection with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition of the same title, covered select Mexican works from antiquity to the first half of the twentieth century and is now out of print.

In contrast to these precedents, James Oles's book concentrates on the art of colonial and independent Mexico to the exclusion of ancient Mexican art. This decision fits within recent developments in the history of art that stress the specificity of each region and period of Latin American art. Oles...

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