Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
SEE Detail of Head
Miguel Norena (b. Mexico City 1843-d. Mexico City 1894)
Miguel Norena studied with Manual Vilar at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City and exhibited for the first time in 1856. In 1873, after five years study in Europe, Norena became director of sculpture at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Mexico City where his notable students were Jesus Fructuoso Contreras and Gabriel Guerra. Norena became widely known as a sculptor of public statues, most notably the Cuauhtemoc monument and the renowned Juarez Seated which was cast from melted down cannons (1891, Mexico City, Recinto Homenaje Don Benito Juarez).
Bronze (with dark olive green patina) Unique. No known edition
Fred R. Kline Gallery, Santa Fe, NM , 2003 (here first researched, attributed, and authenticated by Fred R. Kline).
Private Collection, Texas
Fred R. Kline Gallery. "Miguel Norena: The Cuauhtemoc Modello Discovered". Summer & Fall 2004
"Miguel Norena, Cuauhtemoc, 1886" : www.klinegallery.com from 2004
The modern history of Mexico’s innumerable monuments begins with the decree enacted by President Porfirio Diaz in 1877 stipulating that a series of statues of Mexican heroes be placed all along the Paseo de Reforma. The monument to Cuauhtemoc was the first to be erected and became the first major monument of independent Mexico, fittingly dedicated to the last Aztec prince to fight the Spaniards. It represented a vindication of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic past and a clear rejection of the Spanish Colonial period (1524-1810), often described as a “dark medieval era”.
Norena’s former student Jesus Fructuoso Contreras collaborated with him in 1886-7 on the casting and patinas of the bronze statues for the Cuauhtemoc monument, which included the monumental one as well as the small bronze modello described herein. The dark olive green patina on the Contreras Cuauhtemoc was the patina chosen by Norena for the monument.
Jesus Contreras became one of Mexico’s foremost sculptor-entrepreneurs, establishing the Taller de Fundicion Artistica Mexicana in 1892 with financial support from President Porfirio Diaz. Contreras executed a famous series of 20 public monuments along the Reforma in the 1890s, bronze statues of illustrious figures from Mexico’s post 1810 period of Independence. Many of the statues still stand on Paseo de Reforma and elsewhere in Mexico City.
Sold to a distinguished Texas private collection