For 4 centuries, the stone carving of Huamanga has materialized the unique diversity of artistic, cultural and ideological manifestations of the city of Ayacucho and its area of influence, serving, successively in time, the needs of the Catholic religion imposed by the colonial power, of the profane culture that accompanied the emergence of a Creole bourgeoisie and illustrated at the time of independence, of the daily devotion of an eminently rural clientele from the 19th century, and, finally, of the development of a Handicraft market supported by the tourist activity since the middle of the last century. It is, in short, an original and unique expression in the history of Peruvian art.
Although there are quarries of this type of alabaster in various parts of the country, only in the aforementioned site was a sculptural practice developed that has produced figures of round lump and reliefs for worship and adornment knowing how to take advantage of the qualities of the material, such as the low resistance offered to the wrought being very low its degree of hardness on the Mohs scale, the beautiful effect of its translucency, and an off-white color that made these latitudes a substitute for marble, ivory and, subsequently, porcelain and biscuit . The natural state of the stone in the form of bowling and veins of limited dimensions, and, it is reiterated, its intrinsic delicacy, explains the small size of these creations.
The fourth image presented in this publication is a version of the same theme, The Baptism of Christ that we can find in the Pedro de Osma Museum. The version of the Museum is of similar quality to that presented by our gallery and although lost, it also presents the same technique of inlaying hard stones and pearls that makes this Huamanga an extremely rare piece.