This essay examines Julia Escalante's Graziella and the 1881 El Lechero (The Milkman) as a case study of the ways in which the art of a Mexican woman artist instantiates aspects of Porfirian modernity. In the context of the academic hierarchy that existed through much of the nineteenth century, these scenes of everyday life, that is, genre scenes, done by a woman artist, would have been seemingly unremarkable. Different from most works by a woman artist, these paintings were exhibited in two very different spaces in downtown Mexico City: the National Academy in 1879 and 1881, and later in the Hotel del Jardín in 1888. I will suggest that these exhibition spaces define an architecture of legibility for the paintings inflecting the critical reception of the painting, opening onto the process of Porfirian modernity.
- Art criticism
- Julia Escalante
- Mexico City
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development