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Article

Elisa García Barragán

(b Teziutlán, Puebla, June 10, 1822; d Mexico City, May 28, 1884).

Mexican painter. He studied painting at the Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City, and in 1844 went to the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, where he was taught by the Sicilian Neo-classical painter Natal di Carta. His earliest works were portraits, for example that of the Mexican sculptors Pérez and Valera (1847; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.). He exhibited Columbus before the Catholic Kings (1850; Mexico City, Mus. N. A.) in his studio in Florence, to critical acclaim, and the painting made a great impression in Mexico when he returned there in 1853, also taking with him his most ambitious, and highly academic, easel painting, Christ the Redeemer and the Woman Taken in Adultery (1853; Guadalupe, Mus. Reg.). In his Romantic portrait of Doña Dolores Tosta de Santa Anna (1855; Mexico City, Mus. S. Carlos), wife of the president of the Mexican Republic, Cordero modelled the sitter in a sculptural fashion; the work is remarkable in 19th-century Mexican art in its departure from mild academic aesthetics, notably through its use of strong colour contrasts. In his mural (...

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(b Alava, Spain, 1810; d Mexico City, 1872).

Spanish architect, painter and teacher, active in Mexico. He graduated as an architect from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, Madrid, but also worked in painting, sculpture and pastel miniatures. In 1836 he worked in Paris under Henri Labrouste, and in 1838 he went to Mexico City, where he opened a school of drawing. As one of the outstanding architects in Mexico at the time, he was made an académico de mérito of the Academia de S Carlos and its director of architecture. His chief work was the Teatro de Santa Anna (1842–4; later Teatro Nacional; destr. 1901), Mexico City, a Neo-classical building that was for a long time the most costly in the city. The principal façade had a portico with four large Corinthian columns rising through two storeys. He also rebuilt the dome (1845–8) of the side chapel of the church of S Teresa la Antigua, Mexico City. His solution was a Neo-classical dome supported by a double drum, producing interesting light effects in the interior. The windows of the upper drum, concealed by an incomplete vault rising from the lower one, illuminate paintings around the bottom of the dome. Few of his other works have survived....

Article

[Guillon]

(b Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe, Jan 10, 1760; d Paris, April 21, 1832).

French painter. He was the illegitimate son of a white government official and a freed black slave. Although his real name was Guillon, as the third child of the family he called himself Letiers, Lethiers and finally, from 1799, when recognized by his father, Lethière. While accompanying his father to France in 1774 Lethière entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Descamps at the Académie in Rouen, where he won a drawing prize for an académie in 1776 (Rouen, Bib. Mun.). In 1777 he went to Paris and enrolled at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, studying under Gabriel-François Doyen and winning a first-class medal in July 1782. Lacking influential friends and patrons, before the Prix de Rome of 1784 Lethière attempted to attract support by writing to Mme de la Palum (related by marriage to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes), asking her to intercede in his favour with the Premier Peintre du Roi, Jean-Baptiste Pierre (Paris, Archv. N., A.N. 1. O 1917 2, item 91). In the Prix, Lethière won second prize with the ...

Article

Mónica Martí Cotarelo

(María)

(b Puebla, 1789; d Puebla, 1860).

Mexican architect, sculptor, painter, lithographer, and teacher. He was the leading figure in Puebla in the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing during the early 19th century. He was director of the Academia de Dibujo in Puebla from its foundation in 1814 and the first recipient of a scholarship from the academy, which allowed him to go to Paris (1824–1827), where he studied architecture, drawing, and lithography. He also visited museums, factories, and prisons, intending to introduce French developments and systems into Puebla. On his return to Mexico he devoted himself to intense public activity, architectural reform, painting, lithography, and teaching, and experiments in industrialized production. Among his most important sculptural works is the completion (1819) of the ciprés (altarpiece with baldacchino) for Puebla Cathedral, which had been left unfinished on the death of Manuel Tolsá. It combines a high altar, a sepulchral monument, and a sanctuary of the Virgin, and it is one of the most spectacular examples of Mexican neoclassicism. From ...

Article

[Eduardo ]

(b Saint-Quentin, Aisne, Dec 30, 1788; d Saint-Quentin, 1875).

French painter and lithographer, active in Mexico. He studied under David and Jean-Baptiste Regnault and established his reputation in Paris as a painter of portraits, genre scenes, and historical subjects. From 1850 to 1855 he lived and worked in Mexico City, exhibiting annually at the Academia de Bellas Artes. Although he produced outstanding portraits, for example of General Mariano Arista (1851; Mexico City, Mus. N. Hist.), his most important works in Mexico were costumbrista genre scenes, of which he produced a considerable number. He presented his figures, which he painted in a Neoclassical style, as representative of different social types in suitable settings, helping to establish the terms for such subject matter evolved by Agustín Arrieta and other 19th-century Mexican artists.

Obregón, G. Tipos y paisajes mexicanos del siglo XIX. Mexico City, 1976: 6–9.Ortíz Macedo, Luis. Edouard Pingret: Un pintor romántico francés que retrató el Mexico del mediar del siglo XIX...

Article

Ramón Gutiérrez

(b Celaya, Oct 13, 1759; d Celaya, Aug 3, 1833).

Mexican architect, painter, engraver, and sculptor. He studied painting under Miguel Cabrera at the Real Academia de las Nobles Artes de S Carlos in Mexico City but did not graduate. He subsequently took up wood-carving and engraving. He learnt the elements of architecture from the Jesuits, who gave him a copy of the writings of Jacopo Vignola. His architecture exhibits a familiarity with the classic treatises, although he never visited Europe. Tresguerras’s first major work (1780s) was the reconstruction in Neo-classical style of the convent church of S Rosa, Querétaro, originally consecrated in 1752. The dome over the crossing is set on a drum articulated by rusticated columns, which flank a series of round-headed openings. He is also credited with remodelling the interior of the convent church of S Clara, Querétaro, and with constructing the Neptune Fountain (1802–7) in the plaza in front of it. The god stands under a triumphal arch, while water pours through the mouth of a fish at his feet. Tresguerras also completed (...