Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts


Hispanic Studies


Dr. Juan Luis Suárez


This thesis will examine the emergence of the casta painting genre in eighteenth century New Spain and elements of identity formation in the characterization of colonial subjects. Through the use of a database and close reading of paintings, a corpus of 370 paintings were studied and analyzed. A total of 1471 casta characters were extracted from said paintings and the relationship between actions performed, objects, and to each other was analyzed. In using this methodology results point to the significant historical division between the social communities and colonial society. By focusing on the study of particular characters fractures in imposed social roles in casta characters can be detected.