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One of Mexico’s most celebrated artists was a printmaker, a common man who died a pauper. Yet, José Guadalupe Posada reached his countrymen through more than 20,000 images documenting nearly every aspect of life.
As Mexico modernized in the late 19th century, its capital bustled with published materials to satisfy the growing metropolis and its budding middle class, intelligentsias, and thousands of new residents relocating from the countryside. Employed by the visionary publisher Antonio Vanegas Arroyo, Posada created expressive images that both reflected and informed the transitioning culture of Mexico City’s residents, many of whom were illiterate. Posada’s satirical skeletons, or calaveras, have become the most iconic and celebrated of his work.
© 2023 Fort Worth Key Magazine.