"Soy Ronald Elward, escritor e investigador holandés, y llegué al Perú en 2008. Aquí encontré una Lima con una sorprendente arquitectura y una historia de más de 4.000 años de civilización, desconocida por muchos. Es como si fuera una ciudad escondida y la mejor manera de descubrirla es caminando. El resultado de esta fascinación fue la creación de 17 rutas para caminar, cada una investigada en detalle, y que ninguna otra empresa ofrece. Así que si lo que busca es una experiencia diferente, tendré mucho gusto en compartir esta Lima que para mí es, sin lugar a dudas, el secreto mejor guardado de América Latina".

Arts in Lima

Pre-Hispanic Art

Lima has been home to several pre-Hispanic cultures, most notably the Lima Culture (200-600 AD) and the Ichma Culture (1100-1470 AD). Both have left apart from their architecture, artistic remains, predominantly ceramics and textiles. The museum in the Parque de las Leyendas (included in walk 13 Pre-Hispanic Lima) and the museum of the Huaca Pucllana in Miraflores are dedicated to these cultures. Until March 11 2012 Casa O'Higgins in Jiron de la Unión has a temporary exhibition on the Lima Culture called Lima Milenaria (can be included in walk 1 and 2).
The Museo Larco and the Museo Nacional de Arquelogía, Antropologia e Historia, both in Pueblo Libre (and can be included in walk 5), give a good overview of the artistic development of the country before the arrival of the Spanish. Museo Amano in Miraflores has an excellent collection of textiles.


Italian mannerist painter Bernardo Bitti (1548-1610) moved in 1575 to Peru. Works of his hand can be seen in the church of San Pedro (walk 1) and the convent of the Descalzos (walk 4).

In the 17th and 18th century the Cusqueño School of Painting bloomed, combining European religious motives with indigenous elements leading to triangular (mountain shaped) Virgens with the rosy cheeks and curly hair of the women of the Andes and soldier-archangels. The Museo Pedro de Osma (can be included in walk 9) has a beautiful collection in the former summer residence of the aristrocratic de Osma family, as does the convent of the Descalzos (walk 4).

After the indepence painting has been largely influenced by European movements, but several national inspired movements stand out. The first is the so-called costumbrismo of Pancho Fierro (1807-1879), who painted aquarels of street scenes, which give a good idea of life in Lima in the first half of the 19th century.

A second natonial movement is that of the Indigenismo in the 1920-ies and 30-ies of painters like Camilo Blas (1910-1985), Julia Codesido (1892-1979) and José Sabogal (1888-1956). The Museo del Banco Central de la Reserva in downtown Lima (walk 1 and 2) has a nice collection of both Pancho Fierro and the Indigenistas. The house museum of Julia Codesido is included in walk 5, but is closed until further notice.

A recent development is that of painters which originate from the Amazon region of Peru, for example Christian Bendayan (1973), who depict a sensual and often hallucinating world.


San Isidro (walk 7) and Barranco (walk 9) are the most artistic districts of Lima. Public sculpture has the highest quality in San Isidro, with a work of painter-sculptor Fernando de Szyszlo (1925) in front of the Country Club Hotel. The house museum of Bolivian sculptor Maria Núñez del Prado in the former olive grove of the Counts of San Isidro is at the moment closed for renovation. In Barranco the house-workshop of painter-sculptor Victor Delfín (1924) is included in the walk.

Galleries and museums

The MALI, Museo de Arte de Lima is the most important contemporary art museum. At the moment there are only temporary exhibitions, the second floor with the permanent collection is closed for renovation.
Most important art galleries are in San Isidro (Vertice) and Barranco (Julia de la PuenteFrances Wu, 80m2). Every third Sunday of the month from April until December the art galleries of Barranco are open from 11 am till 5 pm.