Sunday, May 5, 2013

Feliz Cinco de Mayo

At the turn of the 20th century, the Maucci Brothers, a Spanish publisher, commissioned Mexico's most influential printmaker, José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) to illustrate a new series of stories on the history of Mexico for young people. These booklets called the Biblioteca del Niño Mexicano, or Mexican Children's Library, are thought to be the only chromolithographs that Posada created throughout is ambitious career. The entire series of 85 chapbooks, each with an illustrated cover by Posada, tell the story of Mexico's struggle for independence against colonial injustice. Each is sixteen pages and measures 4.75 x 3.25". The El Conco de Mayo cover above, celebrates the Mexican army's victory over French forces in the 1862 Battle of Puebla, 151 years ago today. May 5th is also a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture and a fitting opportunity to look at more of the great Jose Posada's remarkable illustration, printmaking and stunning hand lettering work. The Jean Charlot Collection at the University of Hawaii Library is an excellent place to start. Images shown here are from Southern Methodist University which also has a very nice collection of these Posada booklets and more.

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