"...interpreter of the sorrows, the happiness and the anguished aspirations of the Mexican people..." - Diego Rivera[José Guadalupe Posada]. Monografia: Las Obras de José Guadalupe Posada, Grabador Mexicano. [Mexico City]: Mexican Folkways - Talleres Graficos de la Nacion, 1930.
First edition. Folio. 208 pages plus index. Edited by Frances Toor, Paul O'Higgins, and Blas Vanegas Arroyo. Foreword by Frances Toor. Introduction by Diego Rivera. Text in Spanish and English.
Original red- and black-stamped dark olive cloth. With reproduction photograph of Posada and his son tipped to verso of title page. Boards scuffed, particularly along edges and joints. Corners bumped. Evidence of carelessly removed bookplate to front pastedown. The paper - as always with this book - is browning around the edges; occasional short tears throughout. A very good copy of a scarce book.
José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) was one of Mexico's greatest artists and social commentators whose works ran the gamut from political cartoons (for which he was jailed several times) to book illustration to advertising to commentary on the Mexican Revolution. He is perhaps best known for his Calaveras, the depictions of cavorting skeletons which are now a staple in Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations. Diego Rivera writes in his introduction that, in analyzing Posada's works, "a complete understanding of the social life of the Mexican people may be achieved."
Though his prolific works were seen widely, and his influence on young Mexican artists such as Orozco and Rivera was substantial, Posada died all-but-forgotten and penniless and was buried in a pauper's grave. Rivera - who considered Posada "as great as Goya" - writes: "[T]oday his work and his life penetrate (without anyone of them being aware of it) into the veins of the young Mexican artists whose works have been budding since 1923, like flowers in a spring landscape."
This first posthumous collection of Posada's engravings and etchings contains all the then-known extant examples of his work "that were not worn out, or stolen during the years of revolution" (Toor, in her foreword). A very desirable - and quite scarce - collection of the works of one of the most recognized and influential Mexican artists of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
From Frances Toor's foreword: "Of the fifteen thousand cuts that Posada is said to have made for the leading publishing house of popular literature Vanegas Arroyo, all that were not worn out, or stolen during the years of revolution, are, so far as is known, published here."
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