Dorothy Sloan -- Books


Iriarte & Hernández Lithographs

508.     SOSA, Francisco. El Episcopado mexicano galería biográfica ilustrada de los illmos. Señores arzobispos de México desde la época colonial hasta nuestros días. Francisco Sosa Miembro Honorario de la Sociedad Mexicana de Geografía, Estadística é Historia, y de otras varias corporaciones literarias. [Mexico]: Editores—Hesiquio Iriarte y Santiago Hernández; [title verso: Mexico: Imprenta de Jens y Zapiain, Calle de San José el Real Número 22, 1877 (i.e., 1879, carta dedicatoria on p. 240 dated 1879)]. [i-iii] iv-xvi, [1] 2-232, [235] 236-252 pp., 31 lithograph plates (view of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome) plus 30 portraits of Archbishops of Mexico, commencing with Juan de Zumárraga, by Hesiquio Iriarte and Santiago Hernández (most signed Lit. H. Iriarte, Mexico and S. Hernández, Litogo). Folio (31.2 x 22.5 cm), contemporary dark green Mexican sheep over navy blue pebble cloth with blind-embossed borders on upper and lower covers, title stamped in gilt on spine with raised bands and gilt stamping. Moderate shelf wear (corners bumped, clean split with old repair at head of spine, some flaying to sheep binding), upper hinge split but strong, usual light uniform browning to text and a few minor fox marks here and there, interior fine. A very fresh, complete copy, with occasional neat pencil notes. The chapter on Archbishop Francisco Verdugo is not accompanied by a portrait, but the author states none issued since no known portrait of Verdugo then existed. Very scarce, and difficult to find complete.

     First edition. Reprint editions were published in 1939-1943, 1962, 1978. Mathes, Mexico on Stone, p. 41: “The beginning of the Porfiriate in 1877 marked the publication of some of the finest examples of the lithographer’s art during the latter part of the century. Portraits from the national cathedral graced Francisco Sosa’s (1848-1925) El Episcopado Mexicano printed by Jens y Zapiain (San José Real 11), and lithographed by the recently formed partnership of Iriarte and Hernández.” Palau 319818. Toussaint, La Litografía en México en el siglo XIX, pp. xxi-xxii: “Más interesante.”

     This biographical study of the archbishops of Mexico includes finely executed lithograph portraits accompanied by short biographical notices and works published by the archbishops. The printed text accompanying the plate for Palafox y Mendoza, champion of Native American rights, includes a lengthy bibliography of his published works. Also of bibliographical interest in the chapter on Lorenzana is García Icazbalceta’s essay on Lorenzana’s books, with an excellent discussion of the contents of his Historia de Nueva Hispaña on pp. 196-197 (see Item 259 herein). Hesiquio Iriarte (ca. 1820-1897) was arguably the finest lithographer in nineteenth-century Mexico, and this is an excellent example of his later work. Spanning a half-century, the role of Iriarte in Mexican lithography cannot be overstated. Iriarte’s association with Santiago Hernández (1833-1908) led to some of the more memorable lithographs of nineteenth-century Mexico, such as those in La Orquesta. See Sloan Auction 21, Item 218.