Manuel Manilla: Mexican Engraver
Monograph of 598 Prints
Published by Editorial RM.
Text by Mercurio López Casillas. Introduction by Jean Charlot.
Horned, animated human skeletons, nineteenth century circus figures, devils, demons, card sharps, conjurers, bullfighters and boxers are just some of the 600 images that populate this exquisitely tactile first book in English devoted entirely to the Mexican engraver Manuel Manilla--a remarkably original artist in his own right, and an influence on his more famous colleague and successor, José Guadalupe Posada. Manilla's illustrations for newspapers, broadsides, posters, chapbooks, pamphlets and games are the work of a sensitive portraitist of Mexican social mores, an artist of magical imagination and a master engraver. Richly illustrated with examples of every aspect of Manilla's extremely diverse work, the volume includes an authoritative text on Manilla by Mercurio López Casillas. In addition to offering an overview of the work of this still little-known artist, the essay clarifies the often tangled publishing history of the images and deals with the difficult questions of authorship and attribution in the world of late-nineteenth-century broadside, periodical and penny press publications. A useful chronology of Manilla's life and work is also included. Finally, a special feature of the book, whose striking design recalls the famous Mexican Folkways monograph devoted to Posada in 1930, is the reprint of a text by the 1920s mural painter Jean Charlot, one of the first artists to recognize the importance of Manilla in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution.