We presently are listing four artists: Ernesto Garcia Cabral, Francisco Rivera Gil, Jose Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla whose art is contained in our private collection. Of the four, only items from Jose Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla are available for purchase at this time. Brief biographies of these artists are as follows:

Ernesto Garcia Cabral (born, Huatusco, Veracruz, Mexico 1890-1968)
Nicknamed “Chango”, Cabral is considered by many to be one of Mexico's greatest political cartoonists and illustrators. He was awarded a scholarship to study at the San Carlos Art Academy when he was 17. At the age of 22, he traveled to study in Paris, France where he became skilled as a cartoonist and political caricaturist. Cabral returned to Mexico in 1918 where he developed a well-respected reputation as a caricaturist in various publications. His reputation and talent for creating expressive caricatures helped him gain entry to illustrate posters for Mexican film comedies during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. His talents also included working as a muralist in the US and in Mexico.

Francisco Rivera Gil (born, Spain, 1899-1972)
Francisco Gil was a muralist, cartoonist and movie poster designer who built his reputation first in Spain. As a muralist he created the widely recognized 'La vida de Luis Candelas', contained in the famous Madrid tavern 'El púlpito'.  As a cartoonist he is considered one of the finest of the Spanish Republic. During his time in Spain, his work was exhibited at the Ateneo de Santander. His political propaganda posters -created prior and contemporaneously with the Spanish Civil War- are to this day widely sought by collectors.  Political pressures in the period post Spanish Civil War caused him and his wife to seek temporary refuge in the Dominican Republic, immigrating and residing eventually in Mexico. While living in Mexico, Rivera Gil continued to add to his catalog of fine work. He also worked as a lecturer and journalist. In the early 1940s he worked for the Mexican magazine Hoy as illustrator and also created striking art for movie posters during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

Manuel Alfonso Manilla (born, Mexico City, 1830?-1895)
Available artwork: Broadsides Halfsheets Chapbooks Restrikes
Little is known of Manuel Alfonso Manilla’s life. Numerous biographical sources report that he was born in Mexico City circa 1830 and that he died of typhus in 1895. In 1882, Manilla worked in Mexico City for Antonio Vanegas Arroyo as an illustrator/engraver. While under the employ of Vanegas Arroyo he is credited with making approximately 500 illustrations (woodcuts, acid etchings and type metal lead engravings). The subject matter of the illustrations included: images to accompany corridos, scenes of street life, story characters, bullfighting, circuses and magic. The most remembered depictions were of religious themes and caricatures using calaveras or skeleton images. His time spent with Vanegas Arroyo was not the beginning of his career nor the end. It is apparent from research into his life that he was an accomplished engraver prior to his regular employ by Vanegas Arroyo. Similar to Jose Guadalupe Posada, Manilla produced engravings for over thirty publishing houses in Mexico City.

By the time Posada came to work for Vanegas Arroyo in 1888, Manilla had been working at the printing house for six years and was the senior engraver/illustrator. In addition to the senior Manilla there was also a son by the name of Manual Manilla too. The senior Manilla produced dozens of calavera caricatures during his tenure at the Venagas Arroyo print house. The calaveras were usually produced for broadsides that sold on and around November 2, in observance of Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. Manilla is generally credited with helping to further develop José Guadalupe Posada’s talents in techniques relating to engraving and acid etching. In 1892, Manilla retired from the printing house of Vanegas Arroyo leaving Posada, twenty-two years his junior, as the lead engraver/illustrator. Manilla shortly thereafter opened his own workshop, Manilla & Son, located at 12 Calle de la Pulqueria de Palacio where he continued to be productive until his death in 1895.

Manilla’s legacy in addition to being among the first to utilize calavera caricatures and his influence on Posada also includes producing illustrations for over seventy chapbooks for Vanegas Arroyo and being one of the first illustrators in Mexico to successfully specialize in children’s publications.
Available artwork: Broadsides Halfsheets Chapbooks Restrikes

Jose Guadalupe Ruiz Aguilar Posada- (born, Aguascalientes, Mexico, February 2, 1852 – January 20, 1913)
Available artwork: Broadsides Halfsheets Chapbooks Restrikes
There are numerous scholarly works chronicling what is known about José Guadalupe Ruiz Aguilar Posada. For more detailed information about Posada please refer to the references listed on this website. The synopsis below is derived mainly from three excellent sources: Mock, Melodie, HOJAS VOLANTES: José Guadalupe Posada, the Corrido, and the Mexican Revolution, University of North Texas Master of Arts Thesis; Tyler, Ron (editor), 1979, Posada's Mexico. Washington: Library of Congress and Amon Carter Museum and the Jean Charlot Posada Collection website of the University of Hawaii

posada phot<- Photo: JG Posada and son

In brief summary, Posada received his early childhood schooling at an Aguascalientes elementary school run by his older brother José Cirilo (1839-1894). At an uncle's pottery workshop Posada acquired rudimentary experience in design. He later received formal instruction in drawing at the Municipal Academy of Drawing. Aguascalientes records show that by the age of fifteen, Posada was registered as a painter. In 1868, he learned lithography while working as an illustrator in the workshop of José Trinidad Pedroza.

In 1872, Pedroza moved to León, Guanajuato and within a year or so he was joined by Posada where they ran a printing and lithography workshop. In 1873, Pedroza returned to Aguascalientes leaving Posada in charge of the workshop. He remained in Leon for the next sixteen years working in a variety of mediums from lithography to engravings. His subject matter varied including: political caricatures, advertising art, religious images and news illustrations. He created images for local printing houses and numerous religious publications. Beginning in 1883, he taught lithography at the Leon secondary school for approximately one year.

In 1887, a flood in Leon destroyed Posada’s workshop and possibly caused the death of several members of his family. Prior to the flood Posada had developed relationships with several publishers in Mexico City. Together with these contacts and possibly with the desire to seek improved opportunity in a larger market, Posada moved his business to Mexico City and opened his first workshop at Calle Cerrada de Santa Teresa. Posada is known to have created images for over twenty-three Mexico City based periodicals, including: the dailies, Gil Blas, El Popular (1897-1907), El Amigo del Pueblo (1897), and El Argos (1903-04); the weeklies Gil Blas Cómico (1893-96), La Patria Ilustrada (1886-90), El Fandango (1890-92; 1895), La Risa del Popular (1897-98), Revista de México (1889-91), El Chisme (1899-1910), El Diablito Rojo (1900-1910), El Paladin (1901-10), La Guacamaya (1902-11), El Padre Padilla (1908), San Lunes (1909), and irregular issued publications such as La Gaceta Callejera (Street Gazette) (1892-94).

Beginning in 1888, Posada began working predominantly for the Mexico City based publishing house of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo. The publications produced by Vanegas Arroyo were circulated around much of Mexico and less frequently into Spanish speaking portions of North America. The adult level of literacy in Mexico in 1910 is reported to have been 32%. Vanegas Arroyos’ understanding of the market for his publications possibly aided him in hiring Posada as his chief illustrator. Vanegas Arroyo clearly needed someone who could craft an illustration in which the graphics communicated as much as possible regardless of the viewer’s degree of literacy. In Posada, Vanegas Arroyo found an illustrator whose images of folk heroes; sensational crimes and disasters supported the story lines and more often than not, stood on their own in such a way that they required no words at all.

posada phot-> Image: Diego Rivera’s mural “A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park” honors JG Posada (on the far right) along with a full length calavera Catrina, one of Posadas’ most popular images.

Posada produced illustrations for a myriad of work including: children's stories, plays, instructional books, songbooks, histories, almanacs, card games, game boards, recipes, love letters, commercial advertisements, business letters and religious publications. The religious imagery most often depicted saints, perspectives of Jesus Christ crucified and various renderings of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Small pamphlets containing popular tales, songs, and verses were called chapbooks. Images were printed on a variety of newsprint quality paper stock, sometimes the paper was colored, sometimes images were hand colored and many images were used over again for different stories. In the tradition of the European broadside, a variety of paper sizes were produced reporting and illustrating current events, verses, and songs called corridos. As with Manilla, the skeleton images called calaveras were produced for the Dia de los Muertos. The calaveras were issued along with corridos or verses usually satirizing some poignant issue of the day or showing living persons as though they were dead.

It is an interesting twist that in his lifetime Posada would popularize the calavera images only to die in obscurity at the age of 61 on January 20, 1913 at his home, to be buried in an unmarked grave, and then discovered years after his death. The French ex-patriot artist Jean Charlot, who described Posada as “printmaker to the Mexican people”, initiated this discovery in the 1920s. His art, Charlot thought, was connective to Mexico’s history and influential to the modern Mexican art movement. Chalot proved to be right and thanks to his insight and work, Posada’s contribution was given recognition. Mexican muralists Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) would later give credit to Posada for his inspiration and influence. Dozens of authoritative books, national and international exhibitions, inclusion into countless museum collections and auctions where his works command thousands of dollars are testimony to Posada’s continuing and growing legacy.
Available artwork: Broadsides Halfsheets Chapbooks Restrikes

References (mainly for Posada and Manilla)

Ades, Dawn. Art in Latin America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.

Appelbaum, Stanley and Roberto Berdecio, eds. Posada's Popular Mexican Prints. New York: Dover Publications, 1972.

Antunez, Francisco. Primicias litográficas del grabador José Guadalupe Posada. Aguascalientes, 1962.

Billeter, Erika, ed. Images of Mexico: The Contribution of Mexico to 20th Century Art. Frankfurt, Germany: Schirn Kunsthalle, 1987.

Berdecio, Roberto and Stanley Appelbaum. Posada's Popular Mexican Prints. New York: Dover Publication, Inc., 1972.

Brenner, Anita. Idols Benind Altars. New York: Biblo and Tannem, 1967. Originally published in 1929.

Carrillo A., Rafael. José Guadalupe Posada and His Work. [Mexico]: Panorama Editorial, S.A., 1980.

Casillas, Mercurio Lopez, Monografia De 598 Estampas De Manuel Manilla, (Paperback), 208 pages, Editorial RM, 2003.

Casillas, Mercurio Lopez, Posada: Illustrator of Chapbooks, Mexico. Foreword by Raquel Tibol, 223 pages, Editorial RM, 2003.

Charlot, Jean. "Un precursor del movimiento de Arte Mexicano." Revista de revistas, August 1925.

Charlot, Jean. Posada's Dance of Death. New York: Pratt Graphic Art Center, 1964.

Frank, Patrick. Posada's Broadsheeets: Mexican Popular Imagery, 1890-1910. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

Gamboa, Fernando. Posada: Printmaker to the Mexican People . . . Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1944.

Goldman, Shifra. Dimensions of the Americas: Art and Social Change in Latin America and the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Gretton, Thomas. "Posada and the 'Popular': Commodities and Social Constructs in Mexico before the Revolution." Oxford Art Journal 17(2) (1994), 32-47.

Gretton, Thomas. "Posada's prints as photomechanical artefacts. Print Quarterly (U.K.) 9 (December 1992), 334-56.

Mayor, A. Hyatt. Popular Prints of the Americas. New York: Crown Publisher, Inc.,1973.

Milotes, Diane and Freeman, Rachel, Jose Guadalupe Posada and the Mexican Broadside/Jose Guadalupe Posada y La Hoja Volante Mexicana, University of Chicago,

Mendoza, Vicente T. El corrido mexicano. Mexico City: Grafica Pan-Americana, 1954.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. Splendors of Thirty Centuries. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art and Bulfinch Press, 1990.

Mexican Fine Art Center. José Guadalupe Posada Aguilar: Commemorating the 7th Anniversary of His Death. Chicago: Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1988.

Paredes, Americo. "With His Pistol in His Hand:" A Border Ballad and Its Hero. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1958.

Posada, Jose Guadalupe. 100 Original Woodcuts by Posada. Forward by Jean Charlot. Mexico City: A. Vanegas Arroyo; Colorado Springs: Taylor Museum, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 1947.

Rasmussen, Waldo, ed. Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1993.

Rivera, Diego. "Jose Guadalupe Posada." Universidad (December 1936).

Rothenstein, Julian, ed. Jose Guadalupe Posada: Mexican Popular Prints. Boston: Shambala Publications, 1993.

Salas, Elizabeth. Soldaderas in the Mexican Military: Myth and History. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1990.

Simmons, Merle. The Mexican Corrido as a Source for Interpretive Study of Modern Mexico (1870-1950). Bloomington: Indiana University Press (Humanity Series No. 38), 1957.

Tinker, Edward Larocque. Corridos & Calaveras. (With notes and translations by Americo Paredes.) Austin: UT Press, 1961.

Toor, Frances, Paul O'Higgins and Blas Vanegas Arroyo. Monografia: las obras de Jose Guadalupe Posada, grabador mexicano. Mexico City: Mexican Folkways, 1930.

Traba, Marta. Art of Latin America: 1900 - 1980. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Tyler, Ron, ed. Posada's Mexico. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress; Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, 1979.

Westheim, Paul, Justino Fernández, and José Julio Rodríguez. José Guadalupe Posada Carpeta con 24 grabados. Mexico: Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, n.d.

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