Posada's Resurrection

Diego Rivera’s Mural

“A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park”

Although José Guadalupe Posada died in relative obscurity, in the years following his death the images he produced appeared over and over again in the publications of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo’s printing house. The ongoing presence and success of the printing house combined with the quality of Posada’s images (and to some extent Manuel Manilla) kept Posada’s images in the public eye. When the founder Antonio Vanegas Arroyo passed away in 1917, his son Blas Vanegas Arroyo continued the family business.


In the 1920s, Mexico was recovering from the Mexican Revolution and the world from World War I. It was a time of dynamic change in many ways and within that change there was a flourishing of the arts, intellectual growth and education projects within Mexico. Persons contributing to the time included on the Mexican side: José Vasconcelos, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco and Gerardo Murillo (aka Dr. Atl); and on the ex-patriot side Upton Sinclair, Tina Modotti, Pablo O’Higgins, Jean Charlot, and Frances Toor. There are almost too many names and interconnections


Perhaps the most significant person to champion Posada’s resurrection was from the French – Mexican ex-patriot artist Jean Charlot (1898-1979), who while living in Mexico City during the 1920s encountered Posada’s images contained in the publications of the Vanegas Arroyo printing house. Intrigued by the artwork he searched out and contacted the publisher Blas Vanegas Arroyo. Charlot would later write the first known article in 1925 detailing Posada’s work entitled, "Un Presursor del Movimiento de Arte Mexicano," appearing in “Revista de Revistas”. In it he describes Posada as “printmaker to the Mexican people”. Although there were many people who contributed to Posada’s “discovery” it was Jean Charlot who can be credited with being the main driving force behind Posada’s resurrection.

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