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Ernesto Icaza (Mexican 1866-1935)
Ernesto Icaza (Mexican 1866-1935)

A group of Twelve Oil Paintings

Details
Ernesto Icaza (Mexican 1866-1935)
A group of Twelve Oil Paintings
a) El jarabe tapatío
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1915' (lower right) dated again 'Noviembre 4 de 1922' (lower left)
oil on canvas laid on board
12 3/8 x 17½ in. (31.4 x 44.5 cm.)
Painted in 1915.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Ernesto Icaza, un charro pintor, Monterrey, Museo de Monterrey, September- November, 1986 (illustrated in color on the cover).

b) Coleando a campo abierto
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1911' (lower left)
oil on board
12¼ x 18½ in. (31.1 x 47 cm.)
Painted in 1911.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Literature
O. Chávez, La charrería, tradición mexicana, Mexico, Instituto Mexiquense de Cultura, 1991, p. 98 (illustrated in color).

c) Un magnífico quite
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1914' (lower left)
oil on board
12 3/8 x 18½ in. (31.4 x 47 cm.)
Painted in 1914.

Provenance
Carlos González Herrejón, Mexico City.
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

d) Manganeando un toro a campo abierto
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1921' (lower right)
oil on canvas
23 x 35 5/8 in. (58.4 x 90.5 cm.)
Painted in 1921.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

e) Preparándose para la carrera
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1921' (lower right)
oil on canvas
23 5/8 x 37 1/8 in. (60 x 94.3 cm.)
Painted in 1921.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

f) En el coleadero
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1908' (lower right)
oil on board
18 3/8 x 24½ in. (46.7 x 62.2 cm.)

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Literature
L. Ortíz Macedo, Ernesto Icaza, maestro del ingenuismo mexicano, Banca Serfín, 1988 (illustrated in color).

g) Manganeando a campo abierto
signed 'Icaza' (lower right)
oil on canvas
11 13/16 x 21 7/8 in. (30 x 55.6 cm.)
Painted in 1908.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

h) Ah, que compadre tan...
signed and dated 'Icaza, 1911' (lower left)
oil on canvas
15¾ x 23 7/8 in. (40 x 60.6 cm.)
Painted in 1911.

Provenance
Silvano Barba González collection, Mexico City.
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Exhibited
Mexico City, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Exposición de obras del charro pintor Ernesto Icaza , n.d.

i) Bonita jineteada
signed 'Icaza' (lower left)
oil on canvas
21¾ x 29 5/8 in. (55.2 x 75.2 cm.)
Painted in 1915.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

j) Lazando a puerta de corral
signed and dated 'Icaza 1900' (lower right)
oil on canvas
23¾ x 35½ in. (60.3 x 90.2 cm.)
Painted in 1900.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

Literature
Exhibition catalogue, Ernesto Icaza, un charro pintor, Monterrey, Museo de Monterrey, September- November 1986 (illustrated in color).

k) Manganeando una yegua en el lienzo
signed and dated ' Icaza, 1917' (lower right)
oil on canvas
11 11/16 x 17¾ (29.7 x 45.1 cm.)
Painted in 1917.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner.

l) Enjaquimando una yegua
signed 'Icaza' (lower left)
oil on canvas
18 3/8 x 27 9/16 in. (46.7 x 70 cm.)
Painted in 1914.

Provenance
Anon. sale, Sotheby's, New York, 15 November 1994, lot 15 (illustrated in color).
Acquired from the above by the present owner. (12)
Exhibited
This group of twelve was exibited: Mexico City, Museo de la Cuidad de México, Ernesto Icaza, un charro pintor, July 1986- May 1987. This exhibition also travelled to Monterrey, Museo de Monterrey; Tijuana, Centro Cultural Tijuana; Mexicali, Galería de la Ciudad; San Antonio, San Antonio Museum of Art.

Lot Essay

Born into an aristocratic family, Ernesto Icaza was well poised to explore the life of the charro, Mexico's "country gentleman" who frequently appears in nineteenth-century rural genre scenes. Like the gaucho in Argentina or the cowboy in the United States, the charro embodies a "Wild West" persona from a bygone era that has become tied to national identity. In the years in between independence and the Mexican Revolution, charro culture thrived as vast tracts of farming and ranch lands were owned and operated by hacendados, members of the country's wealthy elite, many of whom were friends or relatives of Icaza's family. The young Icaza was thus a frequently invited guest at numerous haciendas at the turn of the century, affording him the opportunity to immerse himself in charro life. Indeed, Icaza spent his days not only painting charro traditions, but also enthusiastically participating in their suertes, the nine specific events performed as competitions between haciendas that ranged from the skillful cala de caballo, similar to dressage, to the most dangerous, el paso de la muerte, which involved jumping from a galloping horse onto the back of a running bull. While little is known of Icaza's talents as an actual charro, the acuity with which he captured the emotion and tension of the suertes in his paintings reveals his intimate knowledge of his subject. Always rendered in a naïve style, as Icaza had no formal artistic training, his work conveys an authenticity that is unsurpassed by any other painter of this genre, making him, as the curator Fernando Gamboa declared, the "charro pintor de charros." (1)

Composed of twelve paintings, the present lot provides a comprehensive view of charro life at a particular moment in Mexican history. Dressed in finely embroidered suits, silver spurs and distinctive sombreros, Icaza's charros exude a dignified masculinity as they lasso wild horses, ride bucking bulls and perform the jarabe tapatío, better known internationally as the "Mexican Hat Dance." Much like charro culture, the jarabe tapatío became an important expression of Mexican identity after independence, making Icaza's depiction of it here an indication of his national pride. While these images convey a sense of salad days spent in the campo, they are in fact nostalgic remembrances of a more peaceful past. All but three of these works were completed between 1911 and 1921, a period of revolution and great upheaval in Mexico. With the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) came agrarian reform, effectively ending the hacienda system in an attempt to redistribute land and wealth among the broader populace. Thus by the time Icaza executed these works, the charro way of life that he so fervently admired had largely disappeared, leaving him to recreate in paint that which he could no longer experience on the hacienda.
(1)Lupina Laura Elizondo, "Ernesto Icaza," in Visión de México y sus artistas: paralelismos en la plástica de los siglos XIX y XXI, (Mexico City: Quálitas Compañía de Seguros, 2003), 203.
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