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José María Velasco (1840–1912), Mexico
Valley of Mexico
, 1875
Oil on canvas
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

Studying landscape painting with an Italian instructor at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, Mexican artist José María Velasco adapted European artistic techniques to transform the Valley of Mexico into a national symbol. During the late 19th century, Velasco’s grand landscape paintings earned him great acclaim at international expositions in the United States and Europe. A small sketch such as Valley of Mexico, with its broad strokes of color and minimal detail, was probably made on site.

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