Aug 29, 2008

The Skeleton of the Buses

The Skeleton of the Buses

c. 1900–10

José Guadalupe Posada

(Mexican, 1852–1913)

Relief etching and letterpress

Sheet: 39.4 x 29.3 cm (15 1/2 x 11 9/16 in.)

Gift from funds of various donors to the Department of Prints and Drawings 2000.97


Did you know?

José Guadalupe Posada used inexpensive materials and printmaking techniques designed for mass production to make his works accessible to all.


A number of 20th-century Mexican artists admired José Guadalupe Posada for reaching a broad public through striking imagery and inexpensively printed works. Posada combined image and text in his depictions of social and political issues so that they were accessible to workers, many of whom were illiterate. This print is part of a series in which he used skeletons to humorously comment on current events, such as the danger of electric trams in Mexico City. A streetcar delivers passengers to the figure of Death, who beckons them forward, suggesting that the graveyard where he stands is an inevitable stop on their journey.

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