Art in Peru

April 9th, 2006

Dexterous Peruvian artisans hands convert paint, stone, wood, clay and more into unique pieces of highly valued art that are the result of generations of inherited learning. The Peruvian artisans lives and cultures are as varied and colourful as the works they create. Learn more of the marvellous popular art of all of Peru’s regions in this article adapted and translated from LAN Tours.

Humans have the capacity to transform common materials into beautiful objects, creating diverse artistic pieces. Ceramics, paintings, clothes, carving… the list is as large as the variety of designs and motifs.

Peru counts as one of the most important centres of popular art in South America. Experts work with mastery resulting in true works of art that combine many types of native techniques of these lands, techniques that date to pre-Columbian times, with Spanish influences, leaving us with a interesting mixture of both in the form of modern and traditional styles.

Decorative carvings in white volcanic stone, leather works and fine embroidery are part of the background of artesanía in Arequipa. For its part, Ayacucho, a traditional cradle of artisans, is famous for its retablos (see photo), carvings in Huamanga rock, its ceramics – above all its ceramic churches, bulls and scenes displaying its customs – and the more contemporary Sarhua boards.

Also in the south, in Cusco we can find weavings of alpaca wool, silver jewellery, paintings inspired by the works of the Cusquena School of Art and, perhaps its most important artistic expression: the religions works of masters such as Mendíval and Olave.

In the north, Lambayeque y La Libertad have shown their ability in works with leather, weaving, ceramics and goldsmithing. Cajamarca for its part is famous for its mirrors, made with a technique of painting in glass that requires work at a minuscule scale as is also necessary for all its fine works.

Unmistakable art from the Amazon include native items such as bows and arrows, wood carvings and weavings of local plants.

Traditional bracelets, colonial style silver works, tapestries of San Pedro de Cajas, ceramics from Chulucanas, crochet weaving and sewing, jewellery making – there’s no region of Peru where one wouldn’t find them with an original and unique style. This is only a glimpse of all that comes from the hands of these skilled artisans.

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