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date: 09 December 2019

Yela Günther, Rafaellocked

(b Guatemala City, Sept 18, 1888; d Guatemala City, Apr 17, 1942).
  • Jorge Luján-Muñoz

Extract

(b Guatemala City, Sept 18, 1888; d Guatemala City, Apr 17, 1942).

Guatemalan sculptor. He was first trained by his father, Baldomero Yela Montenegro (1859–1909), who was a sculptor and marble-carver. While still very young he worked with the Venezuelan sculptor Santiago González, a former student of Auguste Rodin, then resident in Guatemala, and with the Italian Antonio Doninelli, who ran a bronze foundry workshop. He was also extremely friendly with the Guatemalan painters Carlos Mérida and Carlos Valenti (1884–1912), and with the Spanish Catalan painter and sculptor Jaime Sabartés (1881–1968), who later became Picasso’s secretary. His first important sculptures, both in Guatemala City, were monuments to J. F. Barrundia (1905–1906) in the General Cemetery and to Isabel La Católica (1915).

Around 1921 Yela Günther went to Mexico, where he came into contact with the anthropologist Manuel Gamio, who directed his attention towards Maya and Aztec art. He also had the encouragement of Diego Rivera, who wrote enthusiastically of his work in ...

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