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Drawings and Sketches that Reflect Mexico's Independence Period Published
Watercolor drawing made by Theubet de Beauchamp. Photo: INAH.
MEXICO CITY.- The artistic collection of the colonel and draughtsman Theubet de Beauchamp that shows costumbrista scenes of Mexican society between 1810 and 1827, as well as important moments of the Independence, such as the coronation of Iturbide as the first emperor of Mexico, was recovered by historian Sonia Lombardo de Ruiz and published in the book Trajes y vistas de México en la mirada de Theubet de Beauchamp (Garments and Views of Mexico as seen by Theubet de Beauchamp).

The series of watercolors and drawings created by the Swiss artist nearly 200 years ago was discovered by a National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) researcher during a visit to the Biblioteca del Palacio Real de España (Spain Royal Library) during a visit in 2007.

Published by INAH and the Spanish editorial Turner, the book contains 153 watercolors and drawings, as well as a study of each work, “where Theubet captured the part of Mexican society that starred and lived the Independence struggle from 1810 to 1827”.

Sonia Lombardo, who works at the INAH Direction of Historical Studies, detailed that the first of the 3 albums found contained 56 plates created with watercolor and ink, while the second contained pencil and watercolor sketches. The third was a small book with a single color image from 1816. A total of 153 images that capture scenes from the Independence period were recovered.

The art historian specialized in Prehispanic mural painting mentioned that during her visit to the Spanish library she found some plates named “Civil and military dresses of Mexico dwellers”. “When I realized the author of this material was unknown, I began the investigation”.

The watercolor and ink plates had some dates and notes written in French that read “Rayon and the rebels”, “Iturbide”, and “Cerro de las Cruces” which helped the investigator find the represented period.

Sonia Lombardo found sketches that would represent the important moments of the Independence signed by Theubet de Beauchamp, identifying the Swiss colonel as the author of the material. In 2009, she verified the information when Marta Teran gave her a document where the secretary of King Fernando VII informed him that De Beauchamp was in Paris where he was planning to print lithographs.

The material was safeguarded at the Royal Palace for almost 200 years, after an agreement between Fernando VII and De Beauchamp in which the artist agreed to hand over all his Mexican production in exchange of scholarships for his children. “The king wanted to avoid the material to be made public”.

Among the images stand out the one where Rayon is represented accompanied by landowners and ranchers, each with his weapon. Images of indigenous men holding spears, rocks and slings are part of the albums as well. “The plates represent all the military bodies that participated in the Independence, both Spanish and Insurgents”.

De Beauchamp also portrayed indigenous women in the battle, “as an acknowledgment to the feminine gender”, concluded Lombardo.

National Institute of Anthropology and History | Sonia Lombardo de Ruiz | (Garments and Views of Mexico as seen by Theubet de Beauchamp |




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