Jean Charlot, 1898-1979

Through born in Paris in 1898, Jean Charlot identified himself completely with Mexico. He studied in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and then made the usual training tour in Brittany. He exhibited in the paris Autumn Salon. After fighting in the First World War he decided to settle in Mexico with his mother. He shared a studio with the painter Fernando Leal and became involved in the boomimg artistic scene promoting wood engraving and lithographic techniques. In 1922 he helped Diego Rivera on the mural The Creation and shortly afterward began his own composition Masacre in the Great Temple, which is the first mural painted as a fresco with a critical and historical subject, in what is called the Mexican Renaissance. He created three more murals with scenes of regional customs for the Ministry of Education, some which Rivera obliterated. He became editor of the magazine Mexican Folkways, devoting his time to writing and promoting Mexican art in the United States. He was a draftsman on the famed archaeological expedition to Maya sites organized by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1927, and in 1930 decided to live in New York. He retained links with his Mexican colleagues through his writing, pictures and graphics. He died in Hawaii in 1979.