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The man behind “La Catrina”

The legacy of José Guadalupe Posada has forever shaped Mexican culture and traditions
The man behind “La Catrina”
José Guadalupe Posada – File image/EL UNIVERSAL
Mexico City
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José Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican artist and the creator behind one of the national icons, “La Catrina,” who defined Mexican caricature with a grim smile.

He was born in Aguascalientes on February 2, 1852, as since he was a young man he began to show a talent for art and a critical ingenuity. His satirical drawings caused him a fair share of troubles in his community, reason why he moved to Guanajuato.

Here, Posada opened up a workshop and taught lessons on lithography. In 18875 he married María de Jesús Vela and in 1888 he moved to Mexico City, according to the information provided by the Aguascalientes official website.

Once in Mexico City, he had no shortage of work and collaborated frequently with several media of the time, such as "La Patria Ilustrada," "Revisa de México," "El Ahuizote," and others.

His works reflect a mind ahead of his time. Posada was in favor of progress and had strong nationalist sentiments. He was a fierce critic of the Government and liked to portray aspects of every-day life.

Unfortunately, his fame didn't spare him from poverty, in which he died on January 20, 1913, in Mexico City. His body was never reclaimed and was buried in a mass grave. However, his legacy has forever shaped Mexican culture and traditions.


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