José Guadalupe Posada was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, in 1852.During the Mexican Revolution. By the time of the Mexican Revolution, of which the above engraving shows a scene, he was poor despite his immense talent as a folk artist. He died in 1913, but not before having influenced the great muralist José Clemente Orozco. It was Orozco’s frescoes in the Reserve Room of Dartmouth College’s Baker Library that influenced me in my own visual tastes.
Posada is probably best known for his calaveras, images of skeletons savagely satirizing life under Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. Not surprisingly, most of these cavorting skeletons have become associated with the Mexican Day of the Dead, or All Souls’ Day, on November 2. On this day, families have picnics by the graves of their loved ones who have passed on.
I thought Posada would be a good artist for Halloween as well.