La calavera catrina (1910–1913) by Jose Guadalupe Posada

La calavera catrina - Jose Guadalupe Posada - 1910–1913

Artwork Information

TitleLa calavera catrina
ArtistJose Guadalupe Posada
MediumZinc relief etching
Dimensions34.5 x 23 cm
Art MovementModernismo

About La calavera catrina

“La Calavera Catrina” is a notable work of art by Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, created between 1910 and 1913. This artwork is a zinc relief etching belonging to the Modernismo art movement, and serves as a caricature that reflects on Mexican society. The artwork measures 34.5 x 23 cm and continues to hold cultural significance.

The artwork features a skeletal figure, the Calavera Catrina, which has become an iconic symbol in Mexican culture, especially during the Day of the Dead celebrations. With its elegantly adorned hat, brimming with decorative flowers and feathers, the figure embodies both the playful nature of the holiday and a satirical commentary on the aristocratic tendencies of society during Posada’s time. Despite the figure’s skeletal state, the opulent attire suggests notions of vanity and the superficiality of social status, subtly mocking the emulation of European bourgeois fashions.

The artist, Posada, had a profound influence on later generations of Mexican artists and his work is recognized for its capacity to distill complex social and political narratives into accessible visual forms. “La Calavera Catrina” remains an enduring example of Posada’s influential and satirical approach to art, capturing the essence of a cultural and historical moment with both humor and depth.

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