Review of Amelang.pdf

Review of Amelang.pdf

Volume 39 Issue 1

Author(s): Antonio Sánchez Martínez and José Pardo Tomás

Dr. Antonio Sánchez Martínez is a postdoctoral researcher at Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia (CIUHCT), University of Lisbon. Correspondence to: A. Sánchez, CIUHCT, Pólo Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, Campo Grande, Edificio C4, Piso 3, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal. E-mail:

Dr. José Pardo-Tomás is a senior researcher at the Institució Milà i Fontanals (Barcelona) in the National Spanish Research Council. Correspondence to: José Pardo-Tomás, Institució Milà i Fontanals, C/ Egipcíaques, 15, E-08001 Barcelona, Spain. E-mail:

Recommended Citation:

Martínez, Antonio Sánchez and Tomás, José Pardo (2014) “Between imperial design and colonial appropriation: the Relaciones Geográficas de Indias and their pinturas as cartographic practices in New Spain,” Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies: Vol. 39 : Iss. 1 , Article 1.



This article considers the pinturas of New Spain from the Relaciones Geográficas de Indias as an ambitious and imperialistic metropolitan project for a Ptolemaic chorography of the Indies that was, in the end, redefined in the colony by the tlacuiloque and the local communities as a sort of ‘invention of a New Spain’. For the Council of Indies, the project of the Relaciones and their pinturas meant the final stage of a cosmographical appropriation of the American territories. For New Spain, however, the resulting hybrid cartographic representations meant a sort of foundational act of a “New Spain”. The local communities and the authors of the pinturas took the opportunity given to them by their new lords to reinvent their own version of the territory appropriating the initial imperial design to establish their own new identities.

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