America by Manuel Oliver

  • Description

  • Work's History

The statue in the courtyard of the Llotja representing America was created by Manuel Oliver. It is a female figure with a hieratic expression, wearing a feathered headdress and stepping on a man’s head with her right foot. America is represented almost naked, with only her private parts covered by cotton cloths. The figure recalls the ferocious Amazons of mythology.

«The human skull being crushed by its feet clearly shows how these people, given to barbarity, often feed on human flesh, they eat the men they have beaten at war, the slaves that they buy and other victims, depending on the occasion.» Cesare Ripa, Iconologia

In the four corners of the courtyard of the Llotja there are niches with statues representing Europe, Asia, Africa and America. Pere Pau Muntanya’s iconographic project for the Llotja could not be without the allegories of the continents. This was a recurrent theme in Spanish art of the second half of the 18th century, which must be interpreted as a manifestation of the political power the Spanish monarchs wielded over parts of these territories. The symbolism and attributes with which Francesc Bover and Manuel Oliver represented the four continents denote an ethnocentric vision of the world, a vision that proclaims Europe’s superiority in all respects over Africa and America, but with more nuances in relation with Asia. The figure representing America is the work of Manuel Oliver.

Location

Casa Llotja de Mar

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Author's works
at the Llotja de Mar

  • Africa

    Manuel Oliver 
  • America

    Manuel Oliver