Posada, José Guadalupe

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Posada, José Guadalupe

(hōsā` gwä'thälo͞o`pā pōsä`thä), 1852–1913, Mexican artist. Of peasant stock, he became one of the greatest popular artists of the Americas and influenced the generation of OrozcoOrozco, José Clemente
, 1883–1949, Mexican muralist, genre painter, and lithographer, grad. Mexican National Agricultural School. He became an architectural draftsman and in 1908 turned to painting. With Diego Rivera he led the renaissance of modern Mexican art.
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 and RiveraRivera, Diego
, 1886–1957, Mexican mural painter, studied as a youth with Posada and other Mexican painters; husband of Frida Kahlo. The native sculpture of Mexico deeply impressed him.
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. An imagery of violence was characteristic of him, and he used distortion, caricature, and vigorous lines and contrasts. Working mainly in lithography, woodcuts and metalcuts, and relief etching, he produced thousands of prints that were sold cheaply to the masses; prints are often called Posadas after him. He attacked the Porfirio DíazDíaz, Porfirio
, 1830–1915, Mexican statesman, a mestizo, christened José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz. He gained prominence by supporting Benito Juárez and the liberals in the War of the Reform and in the war against Emperor Maximilian and the
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 dictatorship and was sympathetic to the workers and peasants who became revolutionaries in 1910. Posada also illustrated popular ballads and festivals and did a series on the dance of death and on crimes and executions.


See study by F. Gamboa (1944).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Posada, José Guadalupe


Born Feb. 2, 1851, in Aguas-calientes; died Jan. 20, 1913, in Mexico City. Mexican graphic artist.

Posada, who studied graphic arts with M. Manilla, began working in Mexico City at the publishing house of A. Vanegas Arroyo in 1887. He worked for many newspapers, producing more than 15,000 wood engravings. Posada’s prints were permeated by traditional motifs from Mexican folklore and, at the same time, developed the new principles of revolutionary art. These principles included topicality, social incisiveness, and a simple artistic idiom understood by the common people. Posada is considered the founder of 20th-century Mexican graphic arts.


Beltran, A. “Kh. G. Posada.” Iskusstvo, 1958, no. 1. [Chariot, J.] J. G. Posada. Mexico City, 1947.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.