Mexico City: Diaz de Leon y White, 1870.
Lithograph. Image measures 14 1/2" x 10 1/2". Scattered foxing at margins.
This striking print depicts Alonso and Gil Gonzalez de Avila being led on horses through the streets of Mexico City. Their hands are cuffed, and an executioner leads with an axe in hand. A crowd surrounds them, holding torches; religious men clutch their crucifixes and offer prayers. The brothers were convicted in 1566 of conspiring to overthrow the Spanish royal authority in favor of Martin Cortes, son of Hernan Cortes. The conspiracy failed and the brothers were publicly beheaded.
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