The hidden Picture Gallery

Morelia

Faith and history

Morelia has a monumental heart. A short stroll brings you to its magnificent historical center, a World Heritage Site with palatial mansions, imposing churches and large monasteries. And within this spectacular setting, Morelia surprises us again and again with little gems that often go unnoticed such as the Pinacoteca de San Agustín.

There are no signs at the entrance. If you ask, no-one knows where it is. It is not featured in the main tourist guides. It is almost as if the whole of Morelia is conspiring to keep this picture gallery hidden. That’s precisely why we want to discover this little trove of art.

Behind the Cathedral stands the sober Church of San Agustín, once part of the great monastery erected by the Augustinians in the 16th and 17th centuries. Full of intricate details, the church boasts a magnificent high altar and striking neoclassical altarpieces.

On the right side of the altar, a small unmarked door leads into an old chapel, perhaps a sacristy. Get ready to enter the Picture Gallery. Look up. The room is covered by a half barrel vault exquisitely painted in tempera, in the traditional black and white of many Augustinian monasteries. The artist Becerra turned the vault into a sky full of angels, above the Holy Trinity presiding over the room. The profusely decorated walls are adorned with paintings depicting Augustinian themes such as “The Chair of Fray Alonso de la Vera Cruz”. The painting collection extends to another adjoining room with works by both anonymous and famous painters such as Javier Tapia. Definitely a must-see!

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We recommend

  • Check the schedule for Mass, since the Pinacoteca is closed during religious services.
  • A number of concerts during the Music Festival of Morelia are held in this room, providing a golden opportunity to enjoy two art forms.

Great for...

Live it

  • In the morning
  • In the afternoon

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Start here

García Obeso #162, Col. Centro. 58000 Morelia, Morelia

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