The war of independence in the first quarter of the century. XIX dispersed the students of the Academy of S. Carlo who participated in the struggle; however, they gave some works, showing themselves mainly faithful to the examples of Tolsá. Among the best artists of that period we can mention: the Indian nobleman Patiño Ixtolinque, sculptor, and Rodríguez Alconedo, engraver and painter. Conquered independence, the academy flourished for a short time, but soon after it had a difficult life and decayed due to the internal struggles that characterized the principle of autonomous life in Mexico.
In the second half of the century Echevarría and Conto, presidents of the board of directors of the Academy, gave new impetus to the institution by calling various European professors, especially Italians for the characteristics of their art, even if some were, by birth, Spanish: Pellegrino Clavé and Eugenio Landesio, for painting; Manuel Vilar, for sculpture; Bagally and Périam, for the engraving; Saverio Cavallari, for architecture. These professors, pupils of Minardi and Tenerani (Cavallari was also a learned archaeologist and director of the Academy of Milan), created schools of a mannered aceademism, but spread the knowledge of all the means of the trade: solidity of modeling, accuracy of drawing, technique of coloring and marble. Only in architecture were trivial works produced, in which the glorious previous traditions were completely lost. The most notable pupils of the remembered artists were the painters Salomé Pina and Santiago Rebull, who came to perfect themselves in Europe. The first is to be rememberedThe Pietà ; of the second the Sacrifice of Isaac and the elegant Bacchantes, painted in the Alcázar of Chapultepec. For Mexico 2003, please check computerannals.com.
A disciple of genius of the Landesio was the landscape painter José Maria Velasco, undoubtedly the most notable artist of his century in Mexico, who in his paintings translated the light and the environment of the country and designed the grandiose archaeological remains, the overall views and the details of the ruins of Mexico, helping to arouse enthusiasm for ancient works.
After the masters Pina, Rebull and Velasco, Mexican art fluctuated between different influences; but a nationalist tendency emerged, of which Félix Parra is a notable example with his drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, in which he represented the pre-Cortesian ruins of Mexico and episodes of the conquest. The painting that represents Fra Bartolomeo de las Casas is especially remembered of him.
Lost in the anonymous and with a truly popular character, spontaneous artists appeared who, without school prejudices, produced in Mexico, at the end of the century. XIX, characteristic works and not without merits. Almost all are portraits of middle-class people, votive paintings (retablos), which are numbered in the thousands around the altars of the most venerated images in Mexican churches.
The entry into the academy of Professor Fabrés, Spanish by birth but educated in Rome, aroused a certain fervor. Among his disciples, as well as from the group gathered around the painter Alfredo Ramos Martínez with impressionistic tendencies, there arose the artists who tried in the present to create a distinctly Mexican painting.
The most notable representatives of contemporary painting in Mexico are Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, who covered the walls of the Ministry of Education and the Preparatory School with large frescoes, attracting many others within their tendencies. Strong and diverse personalities, they have in common the will to reveal the modern social movement and especially the spirit of the Mexican revolution. Both have painted important works in the United States.
Since the time of Tolsá and Tresguerras, architecture and sculpture in Mexico have shown themselves to be in marked decline. Recently, studies have been carried out to try to bring about a nationalistic renaissance, making use of elements from the pre-Cortesian and Hispan-Mexican eras; but there are very few works of any importance in which these tendencies have been successful.