Guadalupe Posada José

Mexico City, Mexico

02.02.1852 - 20.01.1913

Graphic artist, cartoonist, book illustrator

He was taught to read, write and draw by his older brother, a school teacher. In 1871 he began publishing political cartoons in the local newspaper El Jicote (“Bumblebee”). After the closure of the newspaper, which offended the authorities, Posada moved to Leon. He opened a shop of prints, lithographs, books with illustrations, posters, etc. products. From 1883 he began teaching the art of lithography at the city college. After the flood of 1888 and the collapse of his trade, he moved to Mexico City. He worked for the liberal newspaper Patria Ilustrada, which was published by Octavio Paz’s grandfather. He became famous for his caricatures of the upper classes, finding for them a form that synthesized the traditional Mexican culture of the Feast of the Dead, folk splint pictures and the achievements of modern graphics. In particular, his engraving “Katrina’s Skull” is widely known.

During the Mexican Revolution, he was on the side of the rebels. But by the end of his life, he had already lost popularity significantly and was almost forgotten. He died in poverty.

He was buried in the poor metropolitan cemetery of the Pantheon de Dolores in the lowest category; since for seven years none of his relatives or friends had asked for his reburial, his ashes were transferred to a common grave.

His figure and work were resurrected in the 1920s by Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco, whose work he significantly influenced. A representative collection of his works is located at the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature in Mexico City. There is a museum dedicated to the artist in the city of Aguascalientes.

Reference: Wikipedia, 2020


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