Alternate Text BACK TO GALLERY

Eguiguren Arte de Hispanoamérica

Hermenegildo Bustos

Portrait of a Young Lady

80x65 cm


Hermenegildo Bustos “Indio Soy y a Mucha Honra”

With this statement he defined himself as one of the most extraordinary and original artists of the 19th century in Mexico. Hermenegildo Bustos (1832-1907) lived and developed in his world, the small town of Purísima del Rincón in Guanajuato, Mexico. He was a self-taught painter who, with his genius and creativity, overcame not being able to access academic training. He stood out fundamentally as a portrait painter, giving these works a masterful psychological content, and in his original still lifes. Due to his economic needs, he worked in various jobs: sculptor, set designer, carpenter, tailor, tinsmith, among other activities. He was an avid reader of various fields of human knowledge, studies that gave him different perspectives that are somehow reflected in his works.

We had to wait until the first decades of the 20th century for his work to acquire singular recognition. In 1940, the exhibition Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art was inaugurated at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in collaboration with the Government of Mexico and the catalog gives this brief piece of information: “BUSTOS, Hermenegildo. Painter. Born Guanajuato, end of the 19th century. He died Guanajuato. He never left his native city. “He became a portrait painter of distinction.” And in Spanish: “BUSTS. Hermenegildo. Painter. He was born in Guanajuato at the end of the 18th century. He died in Guanajuato. Without having left his hometown, he was an excellent portrait painter.” In 1951, the exhibition “Hermenegildo Bustos: village painter” was held at the National Museum of Art of Mexico, giving rise to various national and international exhibitions. A great admirer of his, the editor Franco María Ricci (Parma, 1937-2020) dedicated two volumes to him in his collections, one of them a beautiful bibliophile edition with texts by Octavio Paz and Luis Gonzales y González in 1995.