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In this article, the indigenist Peruvian anthropologist Luis E. Valcárcel pays tribute to José Sabogal, following his death in 1956. In the author’s opinion, Cuzco (where the painter lived after spending several years studying in Europe) was where Sabogal found himself as an artist “when he discovered the depths of Peru that were magically expressed by Cuzco’s men and things.” He painted the streets and the people; in Lima, on the other hand, he painted people with “a dramatic realism infused with intense emotion.” His works were “a true revolution against the Academy and Europeanism” that “scandalized the upper echelons of ‘Peruvian Art.’” Valcárcel also notes that it was Sabogal who encouraged an appreciation for what is “ours” in popular art—the engraved mates [gourds], the altarpieces, the little bulls from Pucará—in the collection, custody, study, and reproduction of these objects that he worked on with a group of artists at the Museo de la Cultural Peruana, and in the essays and articles he wrote about those works.  

Gabriela Germaná Roquez
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru
Courtesy of the private archives of Luis E. Valcárcel, Lima, Peru.