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Clorinda Chávez Galdós Bell: Cuzco School of Religious Art on show at the Tennessee Arts Commission gallery

Nashville – The Tennessee Arts Commission is extremely proud to exhibit for the first time, Peruvian painter, Clorinda Bell. Her paintings exemplify the Cuzco School of Religious Art, a style of Peruvian painting that was introduced to Cuzco by Italian artist/Jesuit monk Bernardo Bitti in the 16th century. His depictions of Catholic iconography functioned as religious education for the indigenous population, who learned through intimate workshops. The most acclaimed Cuzco School painter of the 17th century was an Incan, Diego Quispe Tito. Bell is among modern practitioners of this traditional style. A native of Cuzco, she currently resides in Powell, Tennessee.

Bell’s relatives on both sides have carried on this style of painting for generations, and she grew up watching her father and brothers create wonderfully intricate communal canvases in the family workshop. Daring to take up the paint brush at age 11 to participate in what was traditionally a masculine art, Bell won over her brothers with her talent, becoming one of the first women to work in this genre of painting. Before moving to Tennessee with her American husband, Bell assisted her siblings in painting the family’s communal canvases.  Since moving here, her canvases are entirely her own. Members of the Chávez Galdós clan have exhibited in Peru, Chile, Washington D.C. and, now, Tennessee.