Oleo / tela
101 x 112 cm SHe008
This composition by Herrán is best known through a version drawn with crayons and watercolor, made on medium-sized paper (Panneau decorative, 1916, 42.5 x 39 cm, Museo de Aguascalientes). The existence, in the Andrés Blaisten Collection, of this transposition into oil on canvas in a larger format constitutes a real treasure.
It is one of those works of decorative intention. Conceived of as variations on indigenous themes that occupied the painter’s attention in the final years of his life. They related, on the one hand, to his illustrations published as frontispieces in books and magazines; on the other hand, they formed a significant facet of his visual thinking, closely linked to the development and execution of a large mural project that had kept him busy from 194 until his death, four years later: the Triptych of the Offerings or Our Gods, destined for the National Theater, then under construction.
The painting that we see here is independent of that project. We can recognize here the intense imaginative effort the artist had begun to dedicate to what would become the work with which he is most identified. The process of invention of costumes and adornments inspired in ancient styles, the association with certain cult images and rituality of archaic roots, and the anatomical study of models (frequently with marked ethnic features) recreated with a concentrated and exquisite line-the hallmark of exceptionally masterful draftsmanship – made possible the creation of works such as this one, which reflect Herrán’s deepest desires and personal obsessions.
Vid. Ramírez, Fausto. Mexican modern painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection, Mexico: RM Verlag, 2011, page 40.