José Guadalupe Posada

José Guadalupe Posada

José Guadalupe Posada (2 February 1852 – 20 January 1913) was a Mexican engraver and illustrator.

He was born in the city of Aguascalientes, where he learned the art of lithography. His long career began in 1871 with a job as the political cartoonist for a local newspaper in Aguascalientes, "El Jicote" ("The Bumblebee"). After eleven issues the newspaper closed, reputedly because one of Posada's cartoons had offended a powerful local politician, [ [ HISTORY OF MEXICO - MEXICO'S DAUMIER: JOSE GUADALUPE POSADA - BY JIM TUCK IN MEXICO CONNECT ] at] and he moved to the nearby city of León, Guanajuato. There he married and set up a printing and commercial illustration shop, which flourished until 1888, the year a disastrous flood hit the city, when he moved to Mexico City. His first regular employment in the capital was with La Patria Ilustrada, whose editor was Ireneo Paz, grandfather of the later famed writer Octavio Paz. He later joined the staff of the publishing firm of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, for which he created a prolific number of book covers and illustrations. Much of his work was also published in sensationalistic broadsides depicting various current events.Posada's best known works are his "calaveras", which often assume various costumes, such as the "Calavera de la Catrina", the "Calavera of the Female Dandy", which was meant to satirize the life of the upper classes during the reign of Porfirio Díaz. Most of his imagery was meant to make a religious or satirical point. Since his death, however, his images have become associated with the Mexican holiday "Día de los Muertos", the "Day of the Dead". They draw on Native American motifs.

Largely forgotten by the end of his life, Posada's engravings were brought to a wider audience in the 1920s by the French artist Jean Charlot, who encountered them while visiting Diego Rivera. While Posada died in poverty, his images are well known today as examples of folk art. The muralist José Clemente Orozco knew Posada when he was young, and credited Posada's work as an influence on his own.


External links

* [ José Guadalupe Posada] at the University of New Mexico
* [ "Mexico's Daumier: José Guadalupe Posada"]
* [ "José Guadalupe Posada: My Mexico, a traveling exhibit"]
* [ Posada - Mexico Connect]


* Ades, Dawn, Art in Latin America: The Modern Era. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989, pp. 354, 110-123.
* Art Encyclopedia, Vol 25, p. 321.
* Catlin, Stanton, Art of Latin America Since Independence. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966, p. 190.
* Posada, José Guadalupe, Posada’s Popular Mexican Prints. NY: Dover Publications, 1972.
* Rothenstein, Julian, Posada: Messenger of Mortality. NY: Moyer Ltd, 1989.
* Tenenbaum, Barbara, Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. New York: Scribner’s, 1996, p. 457, Vol 14.
* Tyler, Ron, ed., Posada’s Mexico, Washington: Library of Congress, 1979.

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