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that create the red “mortar” in the brickwork flooring on which the disciples Matthew and Paul stand. In the Andes of South America cochineal was called magno or macnu by the Quechua and Aymara speakers who populated the highland regions. (Ludo­vico Bertonio’s Vocabulario de la lengua Aymara of 1612 defines makhno as an “herbal cake with which they dye wool red”; see fig. 28.) Cochineal was found in abundance in the region, particularly in the south central highlands. The Spanish military leaders and their chroniclers, among them Juan de Sámano, secretary to King Carlos I; Francisco de Xérez, who traveled with Francisco Pizarro as he marched along the coast of Peru and into the Andes; and Miguel de Estete, who accompanied Hernando Pizarro (Francisco’s brother) to the legendary temple of Pachacamac, noted its presence as soon as they set foot in the region in the 1530s.10

26. Tapestry band with quatrefoil and crenellation designs (detail). Probably Mexico, 16th–17th century. Dyed rabbit hair (the red ­cochineal), cotton, goose feathers; 7 x 55 in. (17.8 x 139.7 cm). Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York. Gift of John Pierpont Morgan, 1902 (1902-1-374-a)

27. Triptych with the Institution of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Mexico, 16th century. Natural-colored and cochineal-dyed feathers, amatl paper(?), cotton, wood, adhesive; each wing 19 x 6¼ in. (48.3 x 15.9 cm), center panel 19 x 12½ in. (48.3 x 31.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Coudert Brothers, 1888 (88.3.1)

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Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color  

Elena Phipps The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Winter 2010 Volume LXVII, Number 3 Copyright © 2010 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art,...

Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color  

Elena Phipps The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, Winter 2010 Volume LXVII, Number 3 Copyright © 2010 by The Metropolitan Museum of Art,...

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