Spanish Colonial Biombos

Folding Screen with the Conquest of Mexico (front), photo © 2011 Museum Associat
Folding Screen with the Conquest of Mexico (front), Mexico, late 17th century, collection of Vera Da Costa Autrey, Mexico, photo © 2011 Museum Associates/ LACMA

Sofía Sanabrais explores the relationship between Japanese screens and spanish colonial "biombo" paintings.

She writes that biombo is "a Portuguese and Spanish transliteration of the Japanese word for folding screen, byōbu–the Mexican artform was inspired by its Japanese prototype. The versatility of the folding screen contributed to its quick adaptation to daily life; because the biombo was freestanding, portable, multi-paneled, and could be painted on both sides, it provided an ideal surface on which to paint."

Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World is on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art though January 29, 2012.