Mexican Artists

Overview Artists
  • José Guadalupe Posada
  • Diego Rivera
  • Rufino Tamayo
  • Frida Kahlo

José Guadalupe Posada (1852 - 1913)

Born in the state of Aguascalientes, in Mexico, to a poor family, José Guadalupe Posada worked as a lithography teacher early on in life. In 1887, he moved to Mexico City and began working as a newspaper illustrator. He is well known for his sketches and drawings in which the main theme is death. He worked for printing presses, advertising and marketing ventures, he illustrated books and printed signs, made portraits of historical figures and also created religious imagery.

Drawing political cartoons was what he enjoyed doing most and his work in general was very much focused on political, social and moral themes. Posada had a hand in creating some of the images that are associated with the Mexican celebration “el Día de los Muertos”, the Day of the Dead, as he was the artist who best reflected the social attitudes and ways of life of Mexicans, through his sketches of skeletons dressed in gala attire at get-togethers and parties held by the wealthy. He used his skeleton sketches to poke fun at the upper class, pointing out the corruption, misery and political mistakes of the time, which often placed him in jail.

Posada died poor and was buried in a sixth-class grave in the City of Mexico.