Casa de los Muñecos--page 1 (of two pages)

18th century

Now the university museum, this building was originally a residence which combines typical qualities in the Baroque architecture of Puebla--talalvera (or glazed, patterned tiles), figural panels in tile, and decorative ironwork. The human figures depicted on the tiles have been interpreted in several ways. One political explanation is that the figures represent the antipathy of the owner, Agustín Ovando de Villavicencio, toward the city government which denied him permission to build a three-story house. After gaining authorization from higher authorities, it is thought the figures mock the local authorities. This interpretation may not be too persuasive since these authorities were his associates and in fact other three-story buildings existed then in central Puebla. The more scholarly interpretations are that the figures are related to classical iconology, in particular Hercules, which had Christian and eventually indigenous syncretic interpretations as well. For this complicated subject see Erwin Walter Palm or this internet site.

Atlantes in stucco

Figures dance or hold animals--a snake, a bird, a pig?

Go to page 2.

Work Consulted:

Guía. Arquitectura representativa de la ciudad de Puebla. Puebla: Centro para la Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural Tangible e Intangible A. C., L'Anxaneta Ediciones, 2008.

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© 2013 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.