Sunday, May 10, 2015

Jose Maria Velasco Gomez

The Valley of Mexico from the Santa Isabel Mountain Range
oil on canvas
137.5 x 226 cm
Museo Nacional de Arte, Mexico City, Mexico

Jose Maria Velasco Gomez (1840-1912) was a 19th-century Mexican painter who made Mexican geography a symbol of national identity through his paintings. He was one of the most popular artists of the time and received many distinctions such as gold medals including the gold medal of the Philadelphia International Exposition in 1876 and the medal of the Paris' Universal Exposition in 1889. The Jose Maria Velasco Museum was opened in 1992 in Toluca City with the task of preserving and promoting his paintings.

He was also interested in science. In 1879, he described a new species of salamander found in a lake, north of Mexico City, and published his observations in the Mexican scientific journal.