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date: 21 September 2019

Mercado, Melchor Maríalocked

(b La Plata [now Sucre], 1816; d Sucre, 1871).
  • Pedro Querejazu


(b La Plata [now Sucre], 1816; d Sucre, 1871).

Bolivian painter, photographer, museum founder, scientist, and soldier. He was self-taught as a painter and established a reputation through his work in various techniques. His major work was an album (1841–1860; Sucre, Bib. & Archv N.) composed of 116 watercolors of ordinary people, native and mestizo, fauna, flora, landscapes, and nature scenes of various regions of Bolivia. His work is spontaneous and naive, painted with an almost dry brush. The importance of his work lies principally in his realistic approach to his country and its natural environment. He also painted academic portraits, such as Casimiro Olañeta (1857; La Paz, priv. col.), and he established (c. 1845) the first Bolivian museum of cultural, mineral, plant, and animal specimens (dispersed after 1871). He took up photography towards the end of his life.

Chacón Torres, M. Pintores del siglo XIX, Bib. A. & Cult. Boliv.: A. & Artistas. La Paz, 1963....

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