Oswaldo Guayasamin was a contemporary Ecuadorian painter and sculptor (1919-1999) and I first heard about him during my travels in Ecuador. Although I’m not a big fan of museums, I didn’t want to miss learning something about the greatest national artist. And, to be honest, I didn’t really have an idea what to do on my last day in Quito.

My visit to La Capilla del Hombre (The Chapel of Man), which wasn’t completed until only three years after his death, turned out to be a truly fascinating one.
Paintings documenting the history of human suffering made a big impression on me both because of the message they conveyed and because of their overwhelming size. A guide led us through the rooms telling stories about the artist and his works. It has been one of the most interesting museums I’ve visited.
My favourite paintings were titled “Hands”: hands of protest, hands of hope, hands of terror…

Fascinating and scary at the same time. I bought just postcards, not a poster because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it on my wall.
There was a beautiful yet scary Guitarist.

The poster I decided to buy was titled “Ternura” (Tenderness) – one of many Guayasamin’s portraits of a mother. One of the very few that was not frightening. It’s going to hang on my mother’s wall.


zapatosI cried because I didn’t have shoes until I saw a boy who didn’t have feet.


  • What a fascinating artist – I do find a few of the images quite quirky, but the one you chose of the mother and daughter (Teruna) is lovely! I hope your mum likes it!

  • Vyjay Rao

    The museum is really fascinating. The works of the artist Oswaldo are so fascinating. The paintings indeed speak a million words in silence. They are so tender and poignant.

  • Rachel Pearson

    I also had never heard of Oswaldo Guayasamin however what an interesting artist! The Hands piece is very poignant. If I’m ever in Ecuador I’ll be sure to try to visit!

  • Danik Bates

    Usually not into art, but I do like this work! Very quirky indeed. :)

  • Like you, I’m not a massive fan of museums in general, but these look quite interesting! Love the quote at the end!