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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Indian Paintings from Mission San Fernando: An Historical Interpretation


In most of the other paintings, we see the juxtaposition of cruelty and compassion, love and hate, but in Station Nine evil, personified by both Indians and Spaniards, predominates. This painting definitely stands apart from the rest and may be the artist's most direct personal statement. But taken as a whole, the Stations reveal the artist's ambivalence regarding Spanish culture and colonization. A passionate convert to their religion, he was nonetheless critical of their system. In this sense, Juan Antonio exhibits a personality trait commonly found among those colonized peoples who adopted and admired aspects of European culture yet found it impossible to fathom its contradictions and inconsistencies.

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