L'Inca et le Conquistador

Portrait de Huayna Capac, Inca XII, 19° siècle, Pérou (Amérique). Peinture à l'huile sur coton. Inv. 71.1891.64.5 © musée du quai Branly, photo Thierry Ollivier, Michel Urtado - Click to enlarge, open in a new window
Portrait of Huayna Capac, Inca XII, 19th century, Peru (Americas). Oil painting on cotton. Inv. 71.1891.64.5 © musée du quai Branly, photograph Thierry Ollivier, Michel Urtado


from tuesday 23 june to sunday 20 september 2015


  • Paz Núñez-Regueiro, Head of the Americas Heritage Unit

around the exhibition

  • Visits, publications and events (tbc).

About the exhibition


Two men, a single ambition. Through the portraits of the Inca Atahualpa and the Conquistador Francisco Pizarro, the exhibition presents the key events in the conquest of the Inca Empire and describes the encounter between two worlds.


It is the 1520s. The Spanish empire of Charles I, with its great thirst for gold and conquests, continues the exploration of the Pacific Ocean and the South American coast that was begun a decade earlier. At the same time on the Amerindian coast, the greatest Inca empire ever known – Tawantinsuyu, "the empire of four quarters" – is expanding under the reign of Huayna Capac. On his death, a dynastic crisis brings his son Atahualpa to power, coinciding with the arrival on Peruvian soil of the Spaniard Francisco Pizarro and his conquistadores.

Around Spanish and indigenous stories of the conquest, illustrating the parallel courses and clash of these two protagonists, the exhibition examines the key events in the history of the South American continent. Presented in the form of a dialogue, the Inca and Hispanic objects, paintings, maps and engravings of the period highlight the clash between two radically different worlds, undergoing a profound political, economic, cultural and religious revolution