Jean Charlot


Introduction by Carl Merschel

Our speaker this morning is Professor Jean Charlot, Professor of Art at the University of Hawai`i.  He has a very interesting background for us.  Part of his family are actually Aztecs—IÕm allowed to say this––but he was born in Paris.  He participated in the very great movement towards making murals in Mexico in the 20s.  He then went on to work with the expeditions in Yucat‡n and helped publish the Carnegie Reports on these.[2]  (I must add we do not have them yet in the library—theyÕre only about thirty years old—sour grapes.) 

Without further ado, I will introduce Professor Charlot, who will talk to you about art as communication; and he is going to use the very great Mexican artist, Guadalupe Posada, as an example.  (No fainting please.) 

CM: Not one of my better introductions.

JC: At least it was short.



Lecture by Jean Charlot

IÕve been cautioned to stop exactly at the right time, and Mr. Merschel will make gestures to me to stop, so donÕt be frightened if I stop abruptly. 

Art is a number of things.  I think that it has been underlined very strongly with our type of modern art that it is expression in the sense of self-expression.  Everybody understands that, everybody takes that for granted.  Less people understand the role of art as communication.  To put it in the simplest terms, for millenniums, centuries certainly, in our own civilization, people didnÕt read for the reason there were no books, and art—visual arts, if you want—took the place to instruct the people, so that I use communication in the sense that we use communication when people, let us say, read a report or read a book, and IÕm especially going to underline the relationship of art and the people. 

Art and art lovers is something that doesnÕt need any explanation, but because of the state of art—modern art, letÕs call it––in general, art and the people maybe needs a little clarification.  I come from Hawai`i––that could be relevant––but what IÕm telling next happened in Hawai`i.  A lady that we imported from New York came to tell us about Abstract Expressionism, and she had a wonderful set of slides.  She was extremely well‑informed.  She knew the artists personally, and Abstract Expressionism is perhaps the best contemporary expression of what we call self‑expression, strong on self and weak on communication.  And I was rather impressed by the slides, the attempt to clarify the nonobjective paintings, and she could do it very well.  Then she came to a painter that she liked obviously very especially.  She said, ŅIÕm sorry, I do not have any slides to show you of Mr. X.  HeÕs a very great artist.Ó  Then she talked a little bit, and she said, ŅBut you know, if I had slides, because he likes to paint black on black, you couldnÕt see anything anyhow.Ó  So that suggests that we have forgotten that one of the parts of art is communication.  So that IÕm going to speak of communication in the most straightforward sense of the word.  IÕm using, of course, the area of art as communication that I know, which is Mexican art, and especially the Mexican art of the 20s, and IÕm going to hang, I would say, the idea of communication on JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, who is really the precursor of the Mexican mural movement, a man who died in 1913. 


Unidentified Flemish penny-sheet, 1400s.

So, letÕs begin.  I think we could take the lights off, if itÕs all right.  This is not Mexican, this is Flemish of the l400s, and it shows you what was called the Ņpenny‑sheetÓ or Ņpilgrimage sheet.Ó  It represents a series about the good death, how when you die, you have to be careful here not to succumb to the vice of pride.  The devils are presenting crowns to the gentleman, telling him that heÕs a superman; and, of course, if he believes that, he will go to hell; and the holy people that are at the top of the picture will not be able to save his soul. 


Georgin, unidentified Image dՃpinal.

We are going now to France in the nineteenth century, and we are again seeing here what was literally a penny‑sheet; that is, you could buy this beautiful color woodcut for a penny.  It is called ŅImage dՃpinal.Ó  And so many people like folk art, but they donÕt like the folks.  That is, they donÕt realize that those things are done by people.  Actually, the man who did this was a man called Georgin.  He signed very proudly his woodcuts, and he didnÕt know he would be simply merged in the idea of folk art.  He thought he was—and he was—a very original artist.  So I think those two slides are a good preparation for looking now at the work of Guadalupe Posada, who was a maker of penny‑sheets. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, his son, and Don Blas Vanegas Arroyo, photograph.[3]

This is an actual photograph of Posada.  HeÕs on the right.  HeÕs the fat man on the right.  The man on the left is one of his publishers or rather his publisher, Vanegas Arroyo.  The—I couldnÕt say the studio, which would be something too highbrow—but the workshop where he did his metal engravings was giving directly on the street, so that the clients could go in and commission things from him.  HeÕs a strong, very Indian sort of a character, and of course, he overlapped in his life the beginnings of the revolution. 


Don Blas Vanegas Arroyo and Jean Charlot at the press, 1945 photograph.[4]

And this is really to show you the inside of the shop, the type of press that is used.  The gentleman on the right with the white beard is the same Don Blas Vanegas Arroyo that you saw as a young man in the picture taken in 1910.  This was taken in the 1940s.  The handsome fellow on the left is myself, and we are publishing there a series of a hundred woodcuts by Guadalupe Posada, but the press is the same press on which the penny‑sheets were printed. 


Alfredo Zalce, JosŽ Guadalupe Posada Surrounded by his Admirers, linocut, 1948.

This is by Alfredo Zalce, one of the contemporary Mexicans, and it represents, I would say, the mythical Posada, who is very much beloved now by the Mexican artists.  HeÕs seated at his table.  He has the wood block and his burin on the table.  He has finished the penny‑sheet, and you can see the little vendors, the little fellows, running into the street the way newspaper vendors would sell their papers, selling penny‑sheets to the dismay of the bourgeois couple on the left.  And then, behind (I think I have to point here, if my leash is long enough), the calavera of Diego Rivera; calavera, that is, skull or skeleton, of JosŽ Clemente Orozco, Leopoldo MŽndez himself, and the skeleton of Dr. Atl.  Those people, with the exception of MŽndez, are now calaveras, are now skeletons. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, Calavera de los Patinadores, relief engraving on metal.

This is an actual penny‑sheet as they were printed in the nineteenth century and up to the death of Posada and are still printed for pilgrimages.  The paper is usually color, which is a way of attracting customers, and you can see in there the skeletons cleaning the street.  It has to do with one of the revolutionary episodes in which General Obreg—n[5] took rather wealthy merchants and had them cleaning the streets of Mexico City.  The text is always quite interesting, always poetical, and usually done by the Vanegas Arroyo family.  The large thing is what we call a metal cut, done like a woodcut but in type metal.  The little ones are actual woodcuts. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, Various Prints.

I chose and put together certain things to show you the subject matter, which in part, of course, is chosen because it sells well.  I suppose a publisher would say that they are perennials.  In fact, they sell through the centuries.  The Huntington Library in San Marino now has a series of English penny‑sheets of the times of Shakespeare, where I found the same subjects.  The little fellow at the top had a human face on his behind, which is very unusual.  The woman at the bottom of the sheet has been giving birth to human triplets and a quartet of lizards, and sheÕs still in labor.  We donÕt know whatÕs going to come out. 

There is to be a sort of moral point in those things.  And, of course, as we have seen with the Flemish woodcut of the good death, we have the devils and the holy personages taking part into the doings of the people.  The lady at the top had a disagreement with her husband and poured molten lead in his ear, so that the devils are coming to catch her.  The little girl down here, though she was very young, was not a good girl, and you can see the mouth of hell open to receive her.  I think that mixture of the two worlds, the other world and this one, is typical of the subject of the penny‑sheets.  This gentleman had a disagreement with his in-laws. 

We donÕt have time to make it an art course, but the style of those things, of course, is quite interesting because they are done directly into the metal.  They correspond to what we call direct sculpture into the stone, so that they have a direct character that could not be done if the thing was first created in drawing rather than in engraving. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, El Jurado De Do–a Guadalupe Mart’nez de Bejarano y de su hijoÉ and Guadalupe bejarano en las bartolinas de Belen.

This was a very unkind lady; she was called la Bejarano, and she would take little girls and do horrors to them, among them, burning them with matches, and so on.  IÕm glad to say that she came to a bad end—the lady did.  The poor little girl did also.  But this is one of the best representations of the style of Posada as an artist, and for those of you who can compare, I think weÕll have to go back through the centuries to a man like Giotto, for example, in the l300s, to find something at the same time so monumental and so storytelling. 


William Hogarth, ink drawing for The Four Stages of Cruelty, engravings, 1751.

Just to show you that the Mexicans are not so isolated as they seem, I have mixed up a few of the Old Masters who also believed in storytelling.  This is Hogarth, who represented a series of four stages in the life of a criminal.  That gentleman had a mistress, who was a young girl.  She became pregnant; he strangled her; he was found out; he was hung; and he came to a very bad end.  You can see the rope at the neck of the poor man.  He has been given to the school of medicine and is being anatomized.  In the architecture in the back, you see some of the previous criminals who had been anatomized, and the bones are being boiled so that eventually this fellow, who preceded him, will be strung up as a statue in the niche.  The dog is enjoying the whole thing.  The doctors—the doctors are enjoying the whole thing. 

The point is that we Mexicans, if I may say so, have had a hard time to make our way into the history of modern art because some people believe that art and storytelling do not go together, and I believe that if it was good enough for the Old Masters, it is good enough for us, and that communication is not a sin.  If you try to work as Hogarth did, as Posada did, to reach the people, it is not a question of having an inferior art.  ItÕs just having an art that considers communication as one of its duties.  This, incidentally, is an ink drawing that Hogarth translated in woodcut and that was sold as penny‑sheet in the streets of London at the same time that the events happened, the hanging of the criminal. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, La Calavera Oaxaque–a, etching, 1903.

This is another penny‑sheet, which I chose to illustrate the point of view of the series of skeletons––we have already met one at the beginning of the talk––that we call calaveras, that is, literally, skulls.  This is the skull of a great bandit in Oaxaca.  And from then on we are going to stay a little while with the theme of death and the meaning of death for the Mexicans.  The Day of the Dead, for example, in Mexico is a great feast.  ItÕs not exactly a sad feast because there is a sense of relation to the past that is very strong.  So the families prepare meals.  They are extremely well prepared.  It takes days even to do simply the sauce for the mole, which is the main dish.  Then all those things are carefully wrapped up, brought to the cemetery, and they are put on the tombstone of the dear departed ones.  All the families dressed up in their finery, and they wait around the tomb.  If the dear departed one doesnÕt come to eat the meal after forty-five minutes or so, the living are allowed to begin to eat. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, Esta es de Don Quijote la Primera, La Sin Par, La Gigante Calavera, engraving, ca. 1905.

This is the calavera or skeleton of Don Quixote.  Of course this is by Guadalupe Posada.  The horse is in the same stage of dehydration as the man. 


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, La Calavera de la Catrina, relief etching on zinc [?].

And the calavera of a coquettish—I suppose itÕs an English word—woman: Calavera de la Coquetta, signed, incidentally, in the corner.  This is not an engraving like the others, for those of you who are interested.  This is a relief etching.  There is another man in the history of art who used that very unusual method of relief etching, and that is William Blake in his little books.  That is the only thing he has in common with Guadalupe Posada.


Roman floor mosaic of a butler as a skeleton, National Archeological Museum, Naples.

I always try to fortify our pride, I would say, in what is being done in Mexico by going back to sources.  And of course, the skeletons, the calaveras, have quite a backlog: the Dances of Death of the Middle Ages.  If we go a little further, the Romans, for example, used to have a calavera.  This is a skeleton as a butler, which was on the ground, on the floor of the dining room.  You probably remember that thing, that ŅDrink and be merry, for tomorrow you die.Ó  That is the illustration of the saying that dates from Roman times.  ItÕs a lovely color, that black and white.  Quite gruesome.


Hans Holbein, Alphabet of Death, woodcut, 1538.

Then we come to Holbein in Germany, that is, his German period, and I didnÕt show you the better‑known Dance of Death of Holbein, but the lesser‑known Alphabet.  Those are two letters of the alphabet that were used by the printers when they had a chance.  The B on the left represents death and the pope, because Holbein was a follower and a friend of Luther, and so on, of the Reformers.  The pope is being dragged down by a demon, by a devil, very much in the sense of the old Gothic, Flemish penny‑sheet that we have seen.  On the right side, we have death and the baby, the infant.  The infant is in his rocking cradle.  Death is straddling the cradle and taking the child away, and the mother, of course, would like to stop death but cannot.

So calaveras, skeletons, have a very dignified, I would say, background in the history of art.  Sometimes in the history of art, we speak too much of style, and we forget that problem of communication.  The artists were happy to do art for the nonartist, and art was a sort of a book that was to be read.


Albrecht DŸrer, Memento Mei, drawing, 1505.

This is perhaps just in between communication and self-expression and much more self-expression than communication.  This is by Albrecht DŸrer.  He was in Nuremberg; there was the Black Plague; he was expecting to die.  So he represents the Apocalyptic horse, with death on the horse, and he uses a pun which, in his case, is a brave thing to do, on the left: the beginning of the Prayer of the Dead, Memento Mori—in memory of the dead.  He changed that slightly, and he has now Memento Mei—in memory of myself.  And it is really a very impressive thing of self-expression and one of his most beautiful drawings.  Albrecht DŸrer.


Georges Rouault, Danse Macabre, etching from Les Fleurs du Mal, 1927 [?]

Georges Rouault—which shows that not only in Mexico have people thought of the communication with the people and that the artists are not simply a bunch of selfish people talking to themselves, mumbling to themselves, but they still think in the terms of talking to the people.  And Rouault is one of the great examples.  HeÕs recognized, of course, as one of the great artists of the century, but he has a pleasant—for Mexicans, from a Mexican point of view—he has a pleasant desire to talk to the people.  This is a lady at her window; probably some sort of Jezebel, because Rouault is always biblically‑minded.


Diego Rivera, Open Air School, lithograph, 1932.

We come now to art and the people.  I remember that coming from Mexico to New York in the 30s, I found there a school that was called ŅSocial Conscious.Ó  Those people wanted to talk to the people, but I was very astonished how differently they talked, and the point is that they were not considering themselves as part of the people.  To tell the truth, they talked down to the people.  Now the Mexicans have a very different point of view.  The point of view of the Mexican artist is that he is a man of the people, and I think that is what saves the quality of the art of the Mexicans from the dangers of being what has been called Ņsocial conscious.Ó  We could say that they were completely unconscious that what they were doing was unusual.

This is a Rivera lithograph.  It represents a school being reconstructed.  The woman is teaching the alphabet to both young and old, because many people didnÕt read and didnÕt write at the time––still in our days––while the school is being built in the background.  Now because it is done by a man of the people for the people, there is no strain, there is no effort, there is no talking down.  And incidentally, though it is a lithograph, it is a good example of the mural quality, of the monumental quality of Rivera, who is, of course, a mural painter.


Pablo OÕHiggins, unidentified lithograph.

This is by Pablo OÕHiggins.  ItÕs a curious name, but heÕs a direct descendant of the famous Bernardo OÕHiggins, who is the George Washington of Latin America.  And this is a lithograph, and it has that same easy approach to the people by a man of the people.  The people are doing nothing; they are not gesturing; they are not working.  I should say it is between working hours.  They are the type that the tourist likes to look at, and the tourist says, ŅAha!  Those Mexicans are doing nothing whatsoever.Ó  What they are doing is thinking, is taking stock of the fact that they are living, that they are human, and there are many problems to be thrashed out––when you see a Mexican sitting down and doing nothing.


Louis Le Nain, Family of Country People, oil, ca. 1640.

As I like always to go back to what we like to call the Old Masters, those that are recognized as great masters, I chose a Louis Le Nain, French, seventeenth century, which has exactly the same feeling, exactly the same quality as the Rivera or the OÕHiggins.  A Meal of Peasants.  That was done in the first half of the seventeenth century.  When we read in the history books of the seventeenth century, we are always presented with Louis XIV, the Sun King, in his wig, and we forget the people.  ItÕs not a revolutionary statement.  The people, like the Mexican people, are doing nothing.  In fact, they are rather happy.  They have their beans, they have their bread.  The little fellow in the center is playing a recorder; that is, heÕs doing art of his own.  And thereÕs a wonderful respect on the part of the painter in representing those people.  That is, he is a man of the people, representing some of his own.  However, those things are very explosive, and Louis XIV knew that, and he did not allow any pictures by Louis Le Nain around himself.  He got in a rage when he would meet some pictures of Le Nain, and he would have them immediately taken away.


Vincent Van Gogh, The Potato Eaters, oil, 1885.

This is Van Gogh, The Potato Eaters.  Van Gogh is a wonderful example of a man who was interested in communication; and again, in communication not with the art lover, and God knows that the artist loves art lovers—they are the people who may buy his pictures—but the artist doesnÕt work for the art lover.  Van GoghÕs story is rather touching.  He was a preacher, and he was thrown out officially from his little dissident church because he was giving his shirts to the poor people who had no shirts, and he would go around dressed in newspapers, and that wasnÕt really very decent.  So he decided, and he wrote to his brother, that he was going to preach in paint.  If you can think of anything less artistic for the art lover than that formula, I donÕt know of any.  He was going to preach in paint.  So when we look at those potato eaters, I think it is much more important––rather than thinking in terms of the evolution of style of Van Gogh, thinking in terms of his roots in Holland, and all that––to look at the picture as we look at the Mexican pictures, as a statement by a man of the people, and certainly he was a poor man of the people at the time, representing people of his own, we could say, all his own, because nobody else wanted to take those miners as human beings.  That is done in the Borinage part of Flanders.[6]  The Potato Eaters.


Alfredo Zalce, Mexico is Becoming a Large City, etching 1947.

We go back to Mexico with Alfredo Zalce and that very beautiful etching, which is called Mexico is Becoming a Large City.  ItÕs always hard for a city to grow up, and Mexico has grown up with growing pains.  The people have remained the same.  It is not a preachment.  It is a plea.  It is a plea for the people not to think just in terms of cement, of concrete, of skyscrapers, but to make Mexico a bigger city in terms of catering to the humans.  After all, a city is made for human beings.


William Hogarth, drawing for Gin Lane, engraving, 1751.

Mr. Hogarth, whom we love very dearly.  This is a drawing, sanguine drawing, for his famous etching called Gin Lane, and it represents people who like to drink.  I suggest that you stop having those martinis, because very difficult things happen to them.  This lady is so happy with her gin that her child is falling down to his death.  This fellow is, of course, half dead.  The new arrivals, the craftsman and his wife, are selling the cooking utensils and his work utensils to this man, pawning them—itÕs a pawnshop—to buy gin.  The dead alcoholics are carried in wheelbarrows.  Of course, there was no Alcoholics Anonymous at the time; that explains it.  But it is the same level, it is the same attitude as the Mexican pictures and the one we have just seen of Zalce.  Gin Lane.


HonorŽ Daumier, The Uprising, oil, ca. 1860.

Daumier, French, nineteenth century, the most beautiful example of an artist who refused to be artistic, a man who was an artisan in his own idea.  We have letters of Daumier in which he is more interested in the graining of his lithograph stones than in anything else.  He is a manual worker, a manual laborer.  I donÕt know if you know his story, but all his life he painted very little because he was busy doing cartoons for the magazines.  He has left aboutÉover four thousand lithographs that were published in magazines, most of them with comic captions, many of them not comic in intent.  He believed in democracy, and it was his unhappiness that the revolution of 1848 was followed by––through most of his life––by another empire, by Napoleon III, whom he disliked highly.

So this is one of his oils.  ItÕs called The Street, and it is perhaps one of the most democratic pictures in the sense that Lincoln used the word: of the people.  It is for the people, it is by the people, because Daumier was a man of the people.  The Street.  There are no heroes, there are no villains, there are just people.  But those people can be explosive, and in France, in the nineteenth century, they were.  We know that revolution succeeded revolution.  So we have here a picture that he did of the Revolution of 1848.  I donÕt think it is a picture that is used very much in history books because it is not impressive enough.  There are always fake presentations that are more heroic.  But the man in the center has had an idea.  He said, ŅAs long as we donÕt like the regime of King Louis‑Philippe [who was the man who was the king of France at the time], why not go to the palace and tell him we donÕt like him?Ó  Well, it was a very good idea.  The people gather around him.  They go to the palace.  Louis‑Philippe, who knew what was coming, went out through a back door, and crossed the channel, and went to England.  And for a while, at least, the French had a republic.

So this is a revolution seen by a man who has made the revolution.  And, again, that is very much a Mexican point of view.


JosŽ Clemente Orozco, Bandera, lithograph, 1928.

So when we look at the revolutionary pictures of the Mexicans, they are so different from what people think a revolution is like because Orozco here––this is a lithograph by Orozco––was in the revolution.  This is called A Flag.  A troop train has just arrived.  Those fellows are going to battle.  The battle is usually on the other side of the tracks.  They carry the flag, but the flag has nothing about it heroic.  Yet it represents, of course, the thing for which they are fighting.  The women are following them.  In Mexico, the women follow the men––sometimes they are quite legally married––and their business, their business is to cook for the soldiers.  Then at the time of the meal, they take their little basket of food and carry it to the battlefield.  Fellows on the other side in a civil war do the same.  Everybody has a good meal before going back to the battle.


Xavier Guerrero, The Making of Heroes, woodcut.

The Making of Heroes or, as I like to call it, The Making of Santos.  You all know what the santos of New Mexico are—that is, saints.  And the people couldnÕt fight unless they had heroes, and because the Mexicans are naturally religious and mystical, those heroes mix up in their mind, I would say, with the saints.  We have here the making of a santo, the making of Zapata, who was one of their agrarian leaders, as a canonized revolutionary hero.  That is the anniversary of the death of Zapata.  ItÕs an actual large, what we call broadside, that was distributed or sold for a penny, more exactly, in the streets of Mexico.  The woodcut is by Xavier Guerrero, one of the men of the group.


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, La Muerte de Emiliano Zapata, etching.

At the same time we have the death of Zapata by JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, and there Posada uses what we could call heroic gestures, things he had seen in historical pictures, to impress the people, to force a mythical Zapata on the people.  And that is the way, of course, Zapata has remained.  He is one of the best loved of the revolutionary heroes.


Jacques-Louis David, The Death of Marat, oil, 1793.

This is by David.  David, of course, is French.  He was very much of a leftist, we would say nowadays, in the times of the French Revolution.  He was, in fact, one of the twelve men that condemned the king and the queen to death.  He was heavily involved in politics.  At the same time, he had been made ŅPainter to the Republic.Ó  The republic at the time was a rather frightful thing, the time of the guillotine, and so on.  And Marat, the man who is represented here, is the man who made, every morning, the list of people who were to be beheaded.  HeÕs represented in his bath.  He had a very decent bathtub that was like a shoe.  You entered through the top so that you were not seen.  He received people in his bath.  Maybe a little beside the point, but he had a rash and had to stay in burning water to do his work.  So a woman who was not a leftist, she was a rightist—and Marat beheaded her family—came to him and killed him with a kitchen knife.  That is, of course, a chance for David to do his job, which was to make heroes, to canonize the heroes of the revolution.  He rushed to the place, made drawings from Marat before the police arrived, and made that magnificent picture of Marat dead.


Elisabeth VigŽe-Lebrun, Marie‑Antoinette, Queen of France.

This looks like the wrong picture, but it is not.  ItÕs a portrait of Marie‑Antoinette by Madame VigŽe‑Lebrun.  The next picture youÕll see is probably done five years after this one.  I mentioned that David, as a politician, had condemned Marie‑Antoinette to death.  And he did something that is curious. 


Jacques-Louis David, Marie‑Antoinette on the Way to the Guillotine, drawing, 1793.

He went to a window on the passage of the cart in which Marie‑Antoinette was taken to the guillotine, and he made that sketch of the queen.  You can see that the hair has been cut at the back of the neck, so that the blade would go directly through the skin.  You can also see something even more curious.  Even though he had condemned the woman to death, he realized that she was heroic in her death, and it is quite an homage, I would say, from a republican to the queen.  This, of course, had to be done as the cart in motion passed in the street––from a window.


JosŽ Guadalupe Posada, unidentified engraving.

We come now to shootings, which, of course, happen in and out of revolutions, but are specially possible in revolutions.  An engraving by Guadalupe Posada.


JosŽ Clemente Orozco, Against the Wall, wash drawing, 1922 [?].

A sketch by JosŽ Clemente Orozco.  IÕm afraid that my time is running out, so IÕll tell you still the story that in Orizaba where he was, every morning the prisoners were brought and shot.  And that would awake Orozco, who had to prepare breakfast for his group, and he would ring the bells to have the people set up, as soon as he heard the shootings.  This is a wash drawing by Orozco.


Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, The Third of May 1808 in Madrid: The Executions on Principe Pio Hill, oil, 1814.

Goya.  Goya felt very deeply the French invasion; and this is, of course, the shooting of the underground fellows, the Spaniards who were defending Spain, not the regular army, against the Imperial troops.


Edouard Manet, The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian, oil, 1867.

And Manet, the shooting of Maximilian.  Maximilian was a Hapsburg.  He had been planted in Mexico by Napoleon III.  When Napoleon III felt that there may be a war with Germany, he called back his troops.  Maximilian was immediately taken by the Mexicans and shot.  Again, a picture that should be understood for what it is: it is a manifesto; it is a communication to the people.  And Manet is not simply an artful art fellow.  He had things to say, and things to say to the nonartists.


Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, from the series of prints The Disasters of War, 1810–1820.

Another Goya.  You can see that Goya and Hogarth are my favorites.  I love their subject matter.  Part of that series on the miseries of war, of the disasters of war.  I am showing a certain cruelty, of course.


JosŽ Clemente Orozco, charcoal drawing for a fresco in the Church of Jesus, Mexico City.

And an Orozco of the same type: a study for the Apocalypse.  Now there is in Mexico, of course, a tie, an affinity with Spain, so that you can see Goya and Orozco as nearly in one piece.  That is a fragment, a charcoal drawing for a fresco in the Church of Jesus in Mexico City, where he did some apocalyptic scenes.


Pablo Picasso, Guernica, oil, 1937.

Picasso in an nonselfish mood.  I think it is the only time in his life where he had that emotion and that sense that art should say something to the people.  ItÕs the first bombing by air of a city, Guernica.  It was Catal‡n, that was his own country, and he rises over the, oh, shrine in which art lovers had enshrined him, and he did this as a mural for the republican pavilion in Paris in the International Fair.  His language—heÕs a little obscure—people have been writing books about what the bull represents, what the horse represents.  His intention, however, is unselfish and very close to the intentions of Goya, commenting on the French getting into Spain.


Rembrandt van Rijn, unidentified wash drawing.

This is a Rembrandt.  I think perhaps the difference between good and bad social art is the love or the aloha for the people.  I say aloha because I come from Hawai`i.  Rembrandt saw that little girl who had been condemned to be beheaded, and she was to be exposed to the people on that sort of a cross probably through the day and through the night before she died.  And he made that wash drawing of her.  Now the subject in itself, of course, is brutal: the inhumanity of man to man, as Georges Rouault has said.  But the content of the picture is love, and I think that is the difference between good social art and bad social art.  ItÕs that itÕs not a declamation, itÕs not a conscious action, but simply an act of love.


Manuel Rivera Regalado, JosŽ Guadalupe Posada en su taller de la calle de Santa I–ez, ciudad de MŽxico, a–o de 1904, wash drawing, n.d.

Then we finish on this picture of JosŽ Guadalupe Posada at work.  ItÕs a long story how I got this, but I found in Los Angeles a very good artist, Regalado, who had left Mexico in 1906, and so all his remembrances of Mexico were before 1906.  He had worked for the publisher of Guadalupe Posada, Vanegas Arroyo.  He had worked with Guadalupe Posada, and I asked him, and he was kind enough to do a memory drawing of the inside of the workshop.  And you can see Guadalupe Posada at work here with his leather apron––because he had the leather apron of the printers because he was printing himself some of his work—working out on his engravings, while the old rotary press that you have seen in the photograph is also represented there. 


And I think that is the last of our slides.  Is it?  Very good.  So you are free to go, and Mr. Merschel hasnÕt signaled me.  Thank you very much.  


[1] Lecture delivered at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, June 9, 1965, organized by Carl Merschel.  Edited by John Charlot from the tape-recording in the Jean Charlot Collection.  Not all the works discussed have been identified.  All footnotes are by the editor.  Title assigned from the text.

[2] Morris, Earl H., Jean Charlot, and Ann Axtell Morris, 1931.  The Temple of the Warriors at ChichŽn Itz‡, Yucat‡n, 2 volumes, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication Number 406.  Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington. 

[3] Published in Ron Tyler (ed.), PosadaÕs Mexico, Library of Congress in cooperation with the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, 1979, Washington, D.C., p. 2.

[4] Published in Peter Morse, Jean Charlot's Prints: A Catalogue RaisonnŽ, The University Press of Hawaii and the Jean Charlot Foundation, Honolulu, 1976, p. xiv. 

[5] ēlvaro Obreg—n. 

[6] Actually Wallonia.