Friday, June 9, 2023

Mexican Landscapes

This visit to Mexico was not meant to be a pleasure trip, but rather a time to take care of business prior making the permanent move south of the border.  Most days have been filled with running errands, and poor Alejandro has had to battle Mexico City traffic on an almost daily basis driving me to places where we have to take care of the complexities of Mexican bureaucracy.  As a result, I was hard-pressed to come up with material for my blog today.

I did find some photos, however, from my last trip that I never posted here.  Toward the end of my visit in April / May, it went to one of Mexico City's newer art museums, Museo Kaluz. The museum is located downtown in an 18th century building that was used as lodging for Augustinian monks who were on their way from Spain to the Philippines.  In the 20th century, the building was a boutique hotel. 

The hotel closed, and for a number of years the building stood empty.  In 2016 it was acquired by a wealthy businessman, and the interior was remodeled to house his collection of Mexican art.  The museum opened in 2020.  After the height of the pandemic, when I resumed my travels to Mexico, I visited the new museum.  Although I liked the collection, I was annoyed by their policy that allowed photography with cell phones, but not with cameras.  On my last trip, I found out that they had changed that policy, and that all non-flash photography was allowed.  So, I made another trip to the museum.

Several of the rooms are devoted to Mexican landscape painting.

Manuel Serrano was a 19th century painter who did landscapes and folklore scenes.

"View of the Valley of Mexico and the Volcanoes"
19th century

"View of Chapultepec Castle"
circa 1850

There were several landscapes by one of my favorite Mexican painters, José María Velasco.

"The Church of St. Sebastian the Martyr"

"View of Mt. Ajusco"

"Lagoon of St. Isabel from Mt. Tepayac"

David Alfaro Siqueiros was one of the most important muralists of the twentieth century.


I could not find any information about the female painter Concha Toussaint (1906-1991), but I certainly like this landscape that is included in the collection.

"Popocátepetl and Iztaccíhuatl"

The 20th century artist Gerardo Murillo, better known by his pseudonym of Dr. Atl, was obsessed with painting volcanoes.


Joaquín Clausell was an early 20th century artist known for his impressionist landscapes.  I always thought of him as just a painter of pretty pictures, but, after doing a bit of research, I discovered that he was also a political activist who was jailed a number of times during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz.

"Trees and Mountains"

Juan O'Gorman is best known for executing the enormous mosaic mural that covers four sides of the library of the National University of Mexico.

"Souvenir of Chalma"
(Chalma is a small town and venerated pilgrimage site.)

Salvador Ferrando was a 19th-century painter who did landscapes of his native state of Veracruz.

"View of Tlacotalpan"
last third of the 19th century

Diego Rivera is arguably the most famous of the 20th century Mexican muralists.  This painting is one of his very early works.

"The Convent of Churubusco"

I have some more photos of paintings from the Kaluz Museum.  If I am lacking in material for blog entries, I will post some more. 😀


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