BIOGRAPHY

1875         Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
1894         At nineteen, took his first painting classes at Felipe Castro’s atelier in Guadalajara.
1895         Moved to the city of Aguascalientes where he continued studying at the Instituto Científico y Literario of the State of Aguascalientes.
1896         Traveled to Mexico City to study at the Escuela de Bellas Artes.
1897         When he was twenty-two, the Mexican government under President Porfirio Díaz and the government of the State of Jalisco awarded him a grant to study in Europe.
1898         Obtained a doctorate in Philosophy and Law from the University of Rome. He also studied criminal law at the Sorbonne in Paris.
1900 Participated in the Paris World’s Fair where he won a silver medal for his Self-portrait.
1902         The author Leopoldo Lugones baptized him by giving him the name Dr. Atl, which in Náhuatl means “water.”
1903         Returned to Mexico and began to paint landscapes of his country. He taught classes and had students that included Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco.
1909         At the Academia de San Carlos he was known as the “El agitador” [the shaker/agitator] because he was able to persuade his colleagues and young painters to understand the importance of folk art, and assailed the methods of the Academy’s teaching.
1911         Returned to Europe due to the Revolution in Mexico and settled in France where, as well as in Germany and Italy, he had exhibitions of his work.
1912         Founded the International League of Writers and Artists and the newspaper Art Action in which he published his pictorial and social theories.
1913         Returned to Mexico to discover the blow Victoriano Huerta had given to the country and took an active part in politics sharing his ideas with Venustiano Carranza.
1914         Met with Emiliano Zapata to convince him to join the Carranza movement. Founded the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (San Carlos) and later became its director.
1917         Joined the constitutionalists movement and published the newspaper La Vanguardia. Continued to be politically involved until the assassination of Carranza in 1920.
1920         Was incarcerated for his political ideas, after which he went into exile in Los Angeles, California. Later he returned to Mexico and became the director of Bellas Artes.
1926         Even though as early as 1909 he was interested in the study of volcanoes, he was unable until 1926 to begin his studies of them nor to realize many landscapes incorporating Mexican volcanoes; those of particular interest to him were Popocatépetl, Iztaccíhuatl and Paricutín. He joined the Cristeros War in favor of the anti-clerical movement.
1947         Paricutín sprung forth in 1942 and in 1947 he made a series of works of that volcano.
1950         With his notes and paintings he wrote the book Cómo nace y crece un volcán: el Paricutín [The birth and growth of a volcano: Paricutín].
1957         Began a new way of depicting landscapes, the aerial “bird’s-eye view,” that resulted from the amputation of his right leg, which kept him from being able to climb mountains or volcanoes.
1964         Dr. Atl passed away on 15 August in Mexico City.



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