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Hugo Brehme Views of the Mexican Revolution, 1913-1920

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Brehme (Hugo) Views of the Mexican Revolution

Biographical / Historical Note

Hugo Brehme, born in Germany in 1882, arrived in Mexico in 1908 with his wife and photographic equipment. Though he expected the visit to be relatively brief, he spent the rest of his life in Mexico and is considered one of the founders of Mexican pictorialist photography. His early photographs were documentary, and include views of the Mexican Revolution that have served as source material for various 20th century Mexican artists. The most famous of these, the portrait of Zapata in Cuernavaca, was for many years attributed to Agustín Víctor Casasola, with whom Brehme collaborated from 1913 to1914. After the revolution, Brehme turned to pictorialism, making impressionistic views of the Mexican landscape and inhabitants. These photographs, taken as he wandered with cumbersome equipment through remote, often mountainous regions, were highly acclaimed when published in his collection México Pintoresco (1923). Brehme continued to publish photographs in magazines such as National Geographic and Mapa, and in various books about Mexican culture and geography, until his death in 1954. Brehme, Hugo, México pintoresco, México D.F., 1990 (1923). Brehme, Hugo, México: una nación persistente: fotografías, México D.F., 1995. Brehme, Hugo, Pueblos y paisajes de México, México D.F., 1992.




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