Beautiful Watercolor Landscape of San Andrés de Cholula in 1860

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583. WHITEHEAD, Charles (attributed). “View from El Cobre Mesa de Andrade. Mountains of Ytatlasco and Guasalapa. Distant Hill of Real del Monte C.W. from a Sketch by J[?] Hahn. Mexico 1 October 1860.” Watercolor on heavy paper, signed “C.W.” 30 x 41 cm. Except for a scattered light spotting, fine.

     This well-executed, lovely watercolor painting shows an expansive landscape in a mountainous region with two smoking volcanoes against the backdrop of much higher peaks. In the foreground are two men, a horse, and a dog. The man at left is sitting on the ground, and the other man is kneeling with musket aimed at a buck and a doe. In the distance is an equestrian figure on a winding road. The image is illustrated in Mayer, México Ilustrado, pp. 84-85. The landscape resembles somewhat a painting by Conrad Wise Chapman of Cholula, which sold at Sotheby’s in 2003.

     Little is known about British artist Charles Whitehead. He resided in Mexico from about 1853 to 1865 and apparently owned mines in Veta Grande and Comanja. In 1862, he submitted claims for losses inflicted upon his mining operations (Despatches relating to British Claims on Mexico, London 1862). In 1889, Whitehead acted as agent for five companies and several individuals in the continuing claims against Mexico (Alfred P. Tischendorf, "The Anglo-American Claims Commission, 1884-1895" in The Hispanic American Historical Review, Vol. 37, No. 4, November, 1957, p. 477). The University of Arizona in their Maximilian of Mexico collection has Whitehead’s personal diary, in which he made notes on his experiences of the many political revolutions during his years in Mexico. In 2008 Christie’s sold a watercolor of Chapultepec by Charles Whitehead.


Sold. Hammer: $2,000.00; Price Realized: $2,450.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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