Casta Paintings: The Wealth and Luxury of New Spain

The Casta Paintings depicted the various mixed races found within New Spain.  The artists knew their work would reach the European continent, so they chose to show that their new country was not far behind Europe.  In these paintings they displayed the wealth and luxury found in all of society, not just the ‘pure breads’.  In one set of Casta Paintings, a picture of a pineapple, or piña, was displayed.  The pineapple was a new fruit to the Spaniards, thus it raised their curiosity.  King Ferdinand found it delicious and of higher status than all other fruits.  This shows the luxury of items in New Spain.  The paintings also displayed jewelry on everyone. Pearls and jewels could be found on the dress of both Spaniards and Indians. In Europe, someone of a lower rank and status would not be allowed to sport jewels or pearls.  This differentiation shows that New Spain wanted to show the overall wealth and luxury of the country, and not just the luxury of certain races or socio-economic classes.