Saturnino Herrán, 1887-1918

Born in July 9, 1887 in the city of Aguascalientes. In 1897 he took private drawing lessons in his native city and in 1901 entered the Aguascalientes Academy of Science. He took classes with José Inés Tovilla and Severo Amador, who taught him drawing and painting. In 1903, to round off his studies, he moved to Mexico City and attended the night classes of Julio Ruelas in the San Carlos Academy. In 1904 he was a number-holding pupil in the group taught by the prize-winning Catalan painter Antonio Fabrés in the National School of Fine Arts, where his fellow pupils were Diego Rivera and Roberto Montenegro. In 1906 he attended classes given by Leandro Izaguirre and Germán Gedovius in the National School of Fine Arts. Herrán did majestic paintings of Mexican Indians, giving them heroic strenght and dignity. In 1910 participated in the exhibition commemorating the Centennial Anniversary of Mexico´s Independence. His figures have been associated with the traditions of Spanish art, particularly the work of velázquez and José de Rivera, and also the Catalan modernism. Due to Herrán´s quality as a colorist, it is not surprising that he occasionally designed stained-glass windows and was a seasoned book illustrator. The ambition to be a mural painter appeared at the end of his brief career, and in 1911 he completed large-scale paintings in the School of Arts and Crafts. He died on October 8, 1918, at the height of the aesthetic revival of Mexican art.