Manuel Manilla, the genius of the artist who influenced José Guadalupe Posada

February 02, 2021 at 11:35 p.m.
Manuel Manilla, the genius of the artist who influenced José Guadalupe Posada. PHOTO: Wikimedia ommons
Manuel Manilla, the genius of the artist who influenced José Guadalupe Posada. PHOTO: Wikimedia ommons

 

La death figure In the Mexican tradition, it gives off countless affections related to pride, mysticism, duality and nostalgia: a ritual of recognition in the face of pain and fear.

This custom is synthesized in The Catrina, the image that immortalized the illustrator Jose Guadalupe Posada and is inspired by the work of the master engraver Manuel Manila, particularly in the work entitled Tapatia Skull of 1890.

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Originally from CDMX, Manuel Manilla (1830-1895) was Posada's teacher and forerunner in the engraving workshop of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo placeholder image, and is awarded the implementation of the use of the burin "veil", of several parallel threads.

Manuel Manilla's incursion into the study of Vanegas occurred in 1882 and ended in 1892; from that time on made around 600 engravings, whose peculiarities resided in the harmonious fusion of history, humor and naivety.

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Characteristics with which he illustrated the poems and corridos that were printed in the workshop and distributed through flyers and loose leaves on the street.

THE GREAT COMET FIGHTER

Terrible rain of fire

The fire of the moon

The end of the world has come

The Universal Judgment,

Now we do whistle it,

To die, without more or more.

Mexican popular corrido

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The festive tone of the death images that stand out in the artist's work made him the first engraver that humanized and caricatured death; intention that transcended directly in the work of José Guadalupe, who catapulted this aesthetic discourse with his later lithographs.

"Only the painter who is from the town paints it himself, as a brother is portrayed; and achieving the resemblance, without knowing it, does social work", they describe Jean charlot y Peter morse in its Writings on Mexican art.

At first glance Manilla, Vanegas and other creators remain in the shadow of Posada's artistic genius, born February 2, 1852 in Aguascalientes; however, its relevance is greater and deeper than the documentation preserves.

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