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Henry Adams

(b Veracruz, Mar 13, 1880; d Stamford, CT, Jan 10, 1961).

Mexican illustrator, writer, gallery owner, and publisher, active in the USA. He was the son of a wealthy Mexican lawyer and publisher. De Zayas started his career as an artist by providing drawings for his father’s newspaper in Veracruz. In 1906 he moved on to Mexico City’s leading newspaper, El Diario, but a year later, after the ascension of the dictator Porfirio Diaz, whom the newspaper had opposed, he fled to the USA. There he landed a position making caricatures for the New York Evening World. Shortly after his arrival in the USA, he came into contact with Alfred Stieglitz, who staged solo shows of De Zayas’s caricatures at his gallery Gallery 291 in 1909 and 1910, both of which proved to be huge popular successes.

In 1910 De Zayas traveled to Paris, where he stayed almost a year, scouting out adventurous forms of modern art for Stieglitz, notably the cubist work of Picasso and African sculpture. On his return, equipped with knowledge of European modern art and inspired by the work of the French modernist ...


Aída Sierra Torres

(b Mexico City, ?1820; d Mexico City, 1897).

Mexican illustrator and printmaker. He probably began his career in 1847 in the workshop of the Murguía publishing house. In 1854, in collaboration with Andrés Campillo, he created an outstanding series of illustrations for the book Los mexicanos pintados por sí mismos, in which he portrayed character types (e.g. Great Poet, lithograph) in the manner of Honoré Daumier. In 1855 he founded the firm Litografía de Iriarte y Compañía. The following year he published portraits of famous personalities in the weekly review El Panorama. He was a co-founder in 1861 of the political fortnightly La Orquesta, on which he worked for more than ten years as an illustrator and eventually as a caricaturist and as editor. Iriarte continued to contribute to a number of periodicals, including El Renacimiento, and his firm also published the weekly San Baltazar (1869–1870). He collaborated with Santiago Hernández on numerous illustrations for, among others, ...


Esther Acevedo

(b Parma, 1790; d Tampico, Dec 11, 1832).

Italian lithographer, active in Mexico. He was a member of the Carbonari (a secret society dedicated to the unification of Italy) who used lithography and journalism to diffuse his revolutionary ideas. His revolutionary activism caused him to travel to Spain, Belgium, and Mexico.

In 1809 he completed his studies in Paris, but after returning to Italy he was sentenced to death in 1824 for revolutionary activities. He went to Mexico with his colleague Gaspar Franchini in 1825, apparently attracted by the idea of putting his revolutionary ideas into practice. After considerable bureaucratic problems, Linati and Franchini arrived in Veracruz on September 25, 1825 and were responsible for assembling the first lithographic workshop in Mexico City. Since his youth in Parma, Linati had belonged to the Sociedad del Sublime Maestro Perfecto, where he was initiated as a Carbonario. With his lithography machine, he founded the publication El Iris whose first issue was published on ...



Mónica Martí Cotarelo

[Gahona, Gabriel Vicente]

(b Mérida, Apr 5, 1828; d Mérida, Mar 1, 1899).

Mexican engraver. In 1846 he went to study painting in Europe, where he almost certainly encountered the widely published lithographs of Gustave Doré, Honoré Daumier, and Paul Gavarni, which probably inspired his own work. On returning from Europe he founded, with some friends in Mérida, the periodical Don Bullebulle (1847), which satirized with grace and irony social customs, politics, and contemporary fashion. During its year-long life he illustrated the periodical with a total of 86 wood-engravings that he signed with the pseudonym Picheta. He achieved a sharpness of line that emphasized his draughtsmanship (e.g. The Clerk, 1847; Mexico City, Mus. N. Est.). When Don Bullebulle’s critical attitude forced the periodical to close, Picheta’s artistic career came to an end. Nevertheless, his work is greatly admired for its historical significance, especially in view of the lack of successful wood-engravers in Mexico during the 19th century.

Orosa Díaz, J....


Aída Sierra Torres

(b Veracruz, 1848; d Tacubaya, Mexico City, Feb 14, 1904).

Mexican illustrator and lithographer. He began his career in 1869, making prints for the weekly La ilustración potosina in San Luis Potosí. He collaborated with Alejandro Casarín and Jesús Alamilla on illustrations using engravings colored with pen for the novel Ensalada de pollos by José Tomás de Cuéllar. In these the use of a schematic design accentuated the appearance of the figures portrayed. He created caricatures (1872–1873) for La orquesta and other periodicals, but he established his reputation with caricatures (1874–1876) of government figures for the weekly Hijo Ahuizote. Villasana was a member of the political party of President Porfirio Díaz and in 1880 published ferocious caricatures of Díaz’s opponents in El coyote emplumado. He was co-publisher in 1883, with Ireneo Paz, of La patria ilustrada and in 1888 he founded his own weekly, México y sus costumbres; in both periodicals he published his own caricatures of public figures. In ...