All the persons interested in the history of art must visit this magnificent church of the XVII century, decorated with paintings of the famous indigenous painter Diego Quispe Tito. It is located only fifteen minutes away from the city. The district of San Sebastián is characterized by having preserved certain traditional appearance in its narrow and paved small streets, decorated with tiny balconies that are intensely blue.

The Church

It was founded by the viceroy Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza towards 1560 in a place that was historically significant because, on April 26th 1538, the battle of Las Salinas, in which the armies of Diego de Almagro encountered the armies of Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro, took place in this location. In honor of the fallen, and in order to bury them properly, they ordered to erect a church in the place that was called San Lázaro. It was very simple, made of adobe and without much ornamentation, but in the XVII century the Bishop Mollinedo decided to construct here a real temple and assumed part of the expenses, so as to turn the small church into this magnificent artistic monument. His monogram had been engraved on the front and on the silver frontal of the main altar.

Diego Quispe Tito

This indigenous painter, of noble origin, who is one of the main national artists, lived and worked in San Sebastián. Here, we can find most of his paintings and, by the way, the most significant ones: the series of Saint John the Baptist, Saint Lazarus, and the patron Saint Sebastián. According to the couple Mesa, researchers of Cusco paintings, Quispe Tito was a painter from the country, whose exceptional skills transformed the Cusco painting. The flamenco influence was imposed with him and his flowers, rivers and hills. His first series of paintings, and the most important, is about Saint John the Baptist and it is signed. Then, we can find the canvases about the martyrdom of Saint Sebastián, also signed, the canvases about the Passion of Christ, the doctors of the church, the childhood of Christ and a magnificent series of landscapes.

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