Mexico City: Diaz de Leon y White, 1870.
Lithograph. Image measures 14 1/2" x 10 1/2". Toning and damp-stains to margins.
This dramatic print depicts a scene from 16th century Mexico, illustrating an three-part historical account titled "Fray Marcos de Mena". The account refers to the 1554 Shipwrecks on South Padre Island in Texas. Fray Marcos de Mena, a Dominican friar, is remembered as the sole survivor of the wreck. A fleet of three ships were traveling from Veracruz to Spain when a storm caused the ships to wreck off the coast of Texas. Survivors of the wreck attempted to walk to the nearest Spanish outpost, unaware that it was nearly 300 miles away. Many passengers died of thirst or starvation on their journey, and the group experienced several altercations with the native peoples. In this plate, some men are seen tied to a tree, surrounded by natives with arrows. Figures are depicted in the background fleeing in panic. In Payno's account, he describes the terror that befell the passengers watching the ritualistic attack. Dona Catalina, the subject of the first part of this series, began confessing her sins to the friar upon witnessing the scene.
Print made by Mexican lithographer Hesiquio Iriarte, after artwork by Primitivo Miranda, Mexican sculptor and neoclassical painter. Published in "El Libro Rojo: 1520-1867", by Riva Palacio and Manuel Payno, an illustrated history of civil violence and suffering in Mexico spanning the Spanish Conquest, the Inquisition, up to the French Intervention. The plates include images of plague, torture, and murder, depicting various political and religious martyrs throughout Mexico's early history. Vicente Riva Palacio (1832-1896) was a lawyer and writer, and the grandson of Vicente Guerrero, revolutionary general and 2nd president of Mexico. Manuel Payno (1810-1894) was a Mexican writer, journalist, politician and diplomat. Both men were liberal intellectuals, and this book sought to commemorate the martyrs and oppressed who shed blood for the nation. The work of both authors continue to be influential to Mexican literature, art, and national identity.
Illustrator: Primitivo Miranda