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Mexican Landscape Art

By Miguel Ramírez |

Plan your trip to Mexico City following the steps of two great painters and travelers, and discover unique landscapes that were immortalized through art.


Nowadays Mexico City offers different touristic attractions worth visiting without the need to go too far away. When we walk its streets, visit its monuments and its museums, we realize there are always new things to discover. But a few years ago, before this huge city reached its current dimensions and was connected by highways and avenues, people could only go to the city limits or climb its mountains by going a long journey. However, travelers knew it was worth the effort because it gave adventurers the chance to live the experience of contemplating the city from above.


On this occasion DINKtravelers wants to revisit the past and relive the emotions of two travelers and artists who were born in Mexico in the late nineteenth century. First we have José María Velasco, a landscape artist and professor at the Academy of San Carlos, who used to pack a canvass and paint before going on a day trip to places like Tlalpan, The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Historic Downtown where he would create the first drafts of a new painting. We can find an ideal example in his work El valle de México dated 1882, where we can observe the spectacular views and huge rock formations that conformed the landscape, as well as a few indigenous people and, on the background, lines that mark the roads that led to the city, as well as some of the great lakes that surrounded it.


On the other hand we have Gerardo Murillo, better known as Dr. Atl, who was not only fascinated by the views of the city but also of its volcanoes. He fell in love with the Popocatépetl and the Iztacchíhuatl, and he also witnessed the origins of the Paricutín in Michoacán. This artist went on a long trip that took him to Michoacán where he studied the volcano’s activity. His adventures were then immortalized in multiple drawings and oil paintings that you can find in the National Art Museum in Mexico City.

Dr. Atl also loved heights, so he enjoyed traveling by airplane and taking in the views of the mountains and cities that inspired him to create his “aero-landscapes” including El Popocatépetl, la Malinche y el Pico de Orizaba, a painting in which he represented the great volcano located in Puebla surrounded by fluffy clouds, and accompanied by the other two imposing mountains that dominate the landscape.

Now you know, in your next trip to Mexico City, plan a route that follows the steps of these two great painters and discover unique landscapes that have been immortalized by art.