It is certainly the case that the Basilio de Santa Cruz Investiture of St. Ildephonsus we have before us here denotes a clear syncretism between indigenous Cuzco and Baroque Spain. The fact that the work possesses characteristics linking it to European forms and models does not fully distance the artist from his Indo-American identity, powerfully reflected in the abundant use of gold brocade, a device subsequently widespread in 18th-century colonial painting, whose origin went back to Byzantine art, and whose main quality is to create delicate and dazzling contrasts standing out against darker backgrounds, which we have pictorial record of Santa Cruz and his workshop using in other works.
The Investiture of St. Ildephonsus has enabled us to make a major contribution to the field of research into the “Barroco Mestizo” style originating in Cuzco, as well as highlighting the figure of Basilio Santa Cruz Pumacallao, who was one of the pillars of this key Viceroyalty artistic movement. This work stands as a clear representation of the syncretism taking place in the Americas, and originating in Cuzco, reflecting a balance that came of the intellectual struggle between two cultures fighting for ideological domination over the region. The expression of feelings and ideas gives rise to a historical narrative born of the result of the collision and linking up of two opposing worlds that came together in a startling artform.