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玛雅蓝:从财富象征到墨西哥殖民史的代表

更新时间:2018-9-13 20:11:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The rare blue the Maya invented
玛雅蓝:从财富象征到墨西哥殖民史的代表

In 17th Century Europe, when Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio and Peter Paul Rubens painted their famous masterworks, ultramarine blue pigment made from the semi-precious lapis lazuli stone was mined far away in Afghanistan and cost more than its weight in gold. Only the most illustrious painters were allowed to use the costly material, while lesser artists were forced to use duller colours that faded under the sun. It wasn’t until the industrial revolution in the 19th Century that a synthetic alternative was invented, and true ultramarine blue finally became widely available.

17世纪的欧洲大师卡拉瓦乔(Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio)和鲁本斯(Peter Paul Rubens)在完成举世闻名的杰作时,用的群青蓝颜料产自半宝石青金石。这种石头开采自遥远的阿富汗,价格比等重的黄金更昂贵。当时,只有最杰出的画家才能使用这种昂贵的颜料,其他的画家不得不使用会在阳光下褪色的较为黯淡的蓝色颜料。直至19世纪工业革命时期,人造的替代品才被发明出来,群青蓝色也终于普及使用。

Across the Atlantic Ocean, colonial Baroque works created by artists like José Juárez, Baltasar de Echave Ibia and Cristóbal de Villalpando in early 17th Century Mexico – New Spain – were full of this beautiful blue. How could this be? Lapis lazuli was even rarer in the New World. It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th Century that archaeologists discovered the Maya had invented a resilient and brilliant blue, centuries before their land was colonised and their resources exploited.

在大西洋的另一端,17世纪早期仍被称为新西班牙的墨西哥,华雷兹(José Juárez)、埃卡夫•伊比亚(Baltasar de Echave Ibia)和比利亚尔潘多(Cristóbal de Villalpando)等画家创作的殖民时期巴洛克作品中已随处可见这种美丽的蓝色。这怎么可能呢?本已罕见的青金石在新世界甚至更为罕见。直到20世纪中叶考古学家才发现,原来玛雅人早在其土地被殖民、资源被掠夺的几个世纪前,就发明了一种性质稳定、色泽靓丽的蓝色。

The ultramarine blue procured from lapis lazuli in Europe was not only incredibly expensive, but also extremely laborious to make. In Europe, blue was reserved for the most important subject matter. Rubens' Adoration of the Magi – the version that hangs in the Museo del Prado in Madrid and which he worked on for over 20 years – is an example. The colour was primarily used to paint the robes of the Virgin Mary, and later extended to include other royalty and holy figures. In Mexico, on the other hand, blue was used to paint altogether less holy and everyday subjects.

在欧洲用青金石提炼群青蓝颜料不仅异常昂贵,而且相当耗费人力。当时,蓝色专供最重要的题材使用,鲁本斯的《三博士朝圣》(The Adoration of the Magi)就是一个例子。这幅画他用了20余年创作,现收藏于马德里的普拉多博物馆(Museo de Prado)。这种颜色原本主要用于圣母玛利亚的长袍,后也用于其他皇室成员和神圣人物。然而在墨西哥,蓝色却大多用于与宗教圣人关系不大、更为日常的题材。

Archaeologists studying pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican ruins were surprised by the discovery of blue murals in the Maya Riviera, modern day Mexico and Guatemala, from as early as 300 AD, perhaps the most famous being the murals at the temple of Chichén Itzá (created around 450 AD). The colour had a special ceremonial significance for the Maya. They covered sacrificial victims and the altars on which they were offered in a brilliant blue paint, writes Diego de Landa Calderón, a bishop in colonial Mexico during the 16th Century, in his first-hand account.

研究前哥伦布时期中美洲遗址的考古学家们在玛雅海岸(现墨西哥和危地马拉)发现蓝色壁画时惊讶无比,因为这些壁画最早可追溯至公元300年。或许其中最著名的就属奇琴伊察神庙的壁画(创造于公元450年左右)。对玛雅人而言,这种蓝色有特殊的仪式意义。16世纪墨西哥殖民地的主教卡尔德隆(Diego de Landa Calderón)在他的第一手资料中写道,玛雅人将献祭的人、牲畜、祭坛都涂上鲜艳的蓝色。

Archaeologists were puzzled by the resilience of the blue in the murals. The añil plant, part of the indigo family, was widely available in the region but was mostly used for dyes rather than paint. Indigo was quick to fade in the sunlight and natural elements, so experts mused that the Maya couldn’t have used the same widely available dye to paint the murals. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that the source of Maya blue’s resilience through the centuries was discovered: a rare clay called attapulgite, which was mixed with the dye from the añil plant. During colonisation native materials like Maya blue and cochineal were exploited along with every other resource of the land and its people in the New World. These colours, which supposedly represented the wealth of the Maya empire, would stand as a symbol of all that would be plundered.

壁画上蓝色颜料的稳定性让考古学家困惑不已。提取靛蓝色的植物之一野青树在墨西哥很常见,但所提取的蓝颜料主要用作染料而非绘画之用。靛蓝在阳光和自然元素的作用下会迅速褪色,因此专家们认为玛雅人不可能使用这种广为使用的染料来绘制壁画。直到20世纪60年代,玛雅蓝能维持几个世纪的原因才得以揭晓,原来是野青树提取的颜料里添加了一种叫坡缕石的稀有泥土。在殖民地时期,新世界的玛雅蓝、能制造胭脂红的胭脂虫等当地的资源和人口一起,都遭到掠夺。这些颜料本可以代表玛雅帝国财富,结果成为被侵吞财物的代表。

Rhapsody in blue

蓝色狂想曲

Master painters from the Americas are discussed in art history – if they’re mentioned at all – as a lesser school of Baroque compared to Caravaggio and Rubens. It's overly simplistic to assume that these Baroque masters were only impersonating their European predecessors. In fact, second and third generation painters born in Mexico City, such as Juárez and Echave Ibia, departed from European aesthetics, but arrived to something uniquely layered: enormous and sophisticated compositions that drew upon the full vibrancy of the New World. At Mexico’s National Art Museum (Munal) in Mexico City, works by Juárez seen chronologically show his development from a European impersonator to a New Spanish Baroque master. His early canvases departed from the dramatic spotlighting and warmth of European Baroque imagery and later moved into cold saturation throughout the picture plane (vibrant blues, yellows, greens and reds), multiple light sources, collaged compositions and grand scale – and in part because the use of local materials, such as Maya blue, expanded his palette.

在美术史上,相比卡拉瓦乔和鲁本斯,来自美洲的绘画大师(如果他们被提起的话)并不会被归为典型的巴洛克画派。要说这些巴洛克大师只是模仿他们的欧洲前辈,则太过肤浅。事实上,像华雷兹和埃卡夫•伊比亚这些出生于墨西哥城的第二代和第三代画家从欧洲美学起步,但又另辟蹊径,最终创作出层次丰富而独特的艺术,即吸纳了新世界全部活力的庞大而精妙的作品。在墨西哥城的墨西哥国家美术馆(Munal)内,华雷兹的作品按年份展出,展现了他如何从一个模仿欧洲风格的画家成为新西班牙時期的巴洛克大师。他的早期作品已不同於欧洲巴洛克画派的戏剧化光影效果和暖色调风格,后期作品变为充满画布的冷暖调饱和色(鲜明的蓝色、黄色、绿色、红色)和多个光源的拼贴组合,呈現出一种堂皇壮丽。或许有一部分原因他是运用了本地材料,如玛雅蓝,使得色彩更为丰富。

While Rubens also used vibrant colours, his compositions, on the whole, were more chaotic and warmer than those of Juárez. His pallet was even more vibrant than Rubens’, perhaps the most vibrant of the European Baroques, but his compositions were more akin to Caravaggio. Caravaggio's canvases were, without fail, full of rich reds and yellows, but nearly devoid of blue – if you think of a Caravaggio masterpiece, blue is usually absent. The closest to a blue-tinted Caravaggio you can find is Juárez’s work, but, despite his prolific reach and realised compositions, Juárez died in poverty.  If Juárez died without a peso to his name, how would he have had the resources to order large quantities of precious lapis lazuli from Europe?

虽然鲁本斯也常用鲜艳的色彩,但总体而言,他的画作比华雷兹的更加喧闹、色调偏暖。鲁本斯的画或许是欧洲巴洛克风格中最鲜艳的了,而华雷兹使用的调色板比鲁本斯的还要更鲜艳,不过华雷兹的构图更接近于卡拉瓦乔的风格。卡拉瓦乔的每一幅画都布满了浓厚的红色和黄色,但几乎见不到蓝色——回想一下卡拉瓦乔的代表作,你会发现蓝色几乎无处可循。你能找到最接近卡拉瓦乔风格,但又带有蓝色调的作品,那就是华雷兹的了。然而,虽然华雷兹广为人知,售出许多作品,但他去世时依旧贫穷。如果华雷兹过世时名下并无分文,那他用什么从欧洲订购大量珍贵的青金石呢?

On the other hand, Villalpando, often said to be the most prolific colonial painter in New Spain, imitated the chaotic compositions by Rubens. Villalpando fits more neatly into the European history of Baroque painting and didn't depart from Rubens' ‘fear of space’ – the Baroque notion that every space of the canvas must crammed with imagery and incident – thus he was accepted by the canon of art history as the mascot of Novohispanic Baroque painting. Still, as much as he wanted to imitate Rubens, Villalpando painted with Mesoamerican materials and labour. The consistent result – the same as his peers in Mexico – was that his paintings and murals were cooler and more saturated. His mural adorning the dome of Puebla's cathedral was the first and only of its kind in New Spain. Swirling blue and purple clouds back the images of the virgin, the saints and the angels painted by Villalpando. Even though he sought to make European Baroque in the Americas, his materials gave him away as a criollo, a non-mixed-race descendant of the original Spanish settlers, from Mexico City.

与之相比,比利亚尔潘多常被认为是新西班牙最多产的殖民时期画家。他模仿了鲁本斯喧闹的绘画风格,更符合欧洲史上巴洛克画派的特点,他没有背离鲁本斯"对空间的恐惧"的画风。巴洛克风格要求画布必须用人和物填满,不能留白。因此比利亚尔潘多获得艺术史承认他为新西班牙巴洛克画派的经典大师。然而,尽管比利亚尔潘多希望模仿鲁本斯,但他仍使用中美洲的材料和劳力作画。与墨西哥同一时期的画家一样,他的油画和壁画色调相对偏冷,且饱和度更高。他画的普埃布拉大教堂圆顶壁画,蓝色和紫色的云彩在圣母、圣者和天使背后漂浮环绕,这是新西班牙第一个、也是唯一一个这类风格的作品。虽然他试图在美洲创作欧洲巴洛克风格的作品,但他用的颜料却暴露了他是一个来自墨西哥城的克里奥尔人。所谓克里奥尔人是指拉丁美洲没有与其他种族混血的纯西班牙殖民者的后裔。

Baltasar de Echave Ibia painted such elaborate blues that he became known as ‘El Echave de los azules’ (the Echave of the blues). His father, Baltasar de Echave Orio, also used blue generously, but Echave Ibia was especially famous for his copious use and mastery of the colour. There is a reason why Ibia, working in Mexico City between the 17th and 18th Centuries, had access to seemingly limitless amounts of blue. All three had had sources of the brilliant colour closer to home.

埃卡夫•伊比亚绘制了如此精美的蓝色,因此被称为"蓝色的埃卡夫"(El Echave de los azules)。他的父亲埃卡夫•欧里奥(Baltasar de Echave Orio)也大量地使用蓝色,但埃卡夫•伊比亚因其大量使用蓝色并掌握得恰到好处而更为著名。17至18世纪期间,埃卡夫•伊比亚在墨西哥城工作,因此似乎可以获得无限量的蓝色颜料。这三名画家都能够在家附近获取这种色彩绚丽的玛雅蓝色素。

The lack of written evidence of the use of añil or Maya blue in Novohispanic Baroque paintings is made up for with visual evidence. From these painters and others in the colonised Americas it's apparent that Baroque artists in the New World weren’t using the same blue pigment as their European peers. The lapis lazuli blue being used in Europe was a dark ultramarine blue. While the blue being used in New Spain reflected the vivid azure, originally extracted from añil by the Maya. Maya blue is one of the most durable of all Mesoamerican colours, as seen in the 1,600-year-old murals at Chichén Itzá. Perhaps the same resistance to time has kept Baroque canvases and murals in the Americas, from Mexico to Peru, bright through the centuries.

虽然新西班牙巴洛克画作中使用野青或玛雅蓝缺乏文字记载,但画作本身已经证明了这种颜料的存在。从这些画家以及其他殖民时期美洲画家的作品显而易见的是,新世界的巴洛克画家用的蓝色颜料与同时期的欧洲画家并不一样。在欧洲使用的青金石蓝是深群青色,而新西班牙的蓝色更为鲜艳生动,是最初由玛雅人从野青树中提取而来的。玛雅蓝是中美洲所有颜料中最稳定持久的颜色之一,一如奇琴伊察有着1600年历史的壁画中所见。也许正是这种稳定性,使得美洲从秘鲁到墨西哥的油画和壁画历经几百年的岁月仍然能保持着华丽的光泽。

This cross-pollination of influences, from Maya to European Baroque, happening in Latin America on the canvases of criollo painters suggests globalism began much sooner than academic history has led us to believe.

玛雅和欧洲巴洛克文明的交汇融合完美呈现在拉美地区克里奥尔画家的笔下,这意味着全球化实际早在有学术界记载之前就开始发生了。

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