Created in 1542, a decade after the beginning of the conquest of the Inca Empire, the Viceroyalty of Peru was a political and administrative entity that originally covered the territories incorporated into the Spanish Empire in South America. In the 18th century, the Peruvian Viceroyalty suffered considerable territorial losses. Nevertheless, until 1824 it was the centre of Spanish rule in the region and its main focus of cultural influence. Its capital, Lima, or the "City of Kings", was the site of the first American university (1551) and the first printing press in South America was established there (1584), encouraged by the process of evangelisation. Along with Lima, Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital, was also a determining factor in the development of American Baroque culture, which was joined by other important urban centres in the region.
The Cervantes Institute and the Inca Garcilaso Cultural Centre have sought to provide a synthesis of this fascinating and incomprehensible world. With funds from the Biblioteca Nacional de España, from various collections and complementary materials, and with the collaboration of AECID, this exhibition deals with the dramatic complexity of a splendid, profuse, unrepeatable period, illustrating the development of Peruvian bibliographic production, in print or manuscript, as well as the publications made in Spain or elsewhere by authors who at the time made various aspects of Peru known.
The exhibition is representative of the different areas of this literary effort, which in turn nurtured the emancipation process and led to Independence, the bicentenary of which Peru and Spain are commemorating this year, highlighting their deep historical and cultural ties.
The exhibition is also framed in the perspective of the next International Congress of the Spanish Language that will take place in Peru, in the city of Arequipa, in 2022.
Submitted by José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo advisor.