Fashioning the Colonial Metropolis: Asian Influences and Urban Identities in Colonial Mexico City

Global Urban History

Nino Vallen, Freie Universität Berlin

At the end of the seventeenth century, the Mexican artist Cristóbal de Villalpando painted the main square of Mexico City. His image of the zócalo depicts approximately 1,200 persons strolling around or standing in groups outside the metropolitan cathedral or the partially ruined viceregal palace. At the center of all this activity, Villalpando located the two markets that fill most of this public space. Gondola-like boats and carts can be seen transporting merchandise to the market in the upper part of the image, while carriages and members of the city’s merchant elite flock together in the surroundings of a recently constructed market, the Parián, that appears at the forefront of the composition.

Fig. 1 - Cristobal de Villalpando - View of the Zócalo of Mexico City (1695) Cristóbal de Villalpando’s Pinting of Mexico City’s Main Square, Late 17th Century

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Acerca de Leoncio López-Ocón
Historiador. Investigador del Instituto de Historia del Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales del CSIC. Madrid.

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