London: The 172th birthday of José María Velasco Gómez’s is being celebrated in Maxico and world’s search engine giant, Google has also marked the day by featuring a special Google Doodle commemorating her contributions to international art in Mexico.
Born on July 6, 1840, was Mexican painter of the 19th century who made Mexican geography a symbol of national identity through of his paintings. He was one the most popular artists of that time so he received many distinctions like the gold medal of National Expositions of Bellas Artes in 1874 and 1876, the gold medal of the Philadelphia International Exposition in 1876 and the medal of the Paris’ Universal Exposition in 1889. His painting El valle de México is considered Velascos’ master piece.
His production can be classified in three parts: The first academic years from 1860 to 1889 that includes La Plaza de San Jacinto en San Ángel, Las montañas de la Magadalena, La Alameda de México, El bosque de Jalapa, El Cedro de Chimalistac and El Ahuehuete de Chapultepec.
The period from 1890 to 1892 when he was in touch with French Impressionists that includes Valle de Mexico desde el cerro de Atraeualco and Ajusco visto desde el Tepeyac.
Finally, a personal period from 1892 to 1912 that includes Rocas del cerro de Atzacoalco, Pirámide del Sol en Teotihuacán, Popocatepetl, Ixtlaciual, Templo de San Bernardo, Cascada de Nevaxa and El Puente de Metlac.
Velasco was also interested in science. In 1879, he described a new species of Ambystoma found in the Santa Isabel lake, north of Mexico City, and published his observations in the Mexican scientific journal La Naturaleza (La Naturaleza 4: 216). The new species was named by Velasco as Siredon Tigrina. Later, in 1888, Alfredo Dugès (1826–1910) renamed the species, and dedicated it to Velasco, as Ambystoma velasci (see also Plateau Tiger Salamander).
Nowadays, the Government of the State of Mexico, where Velasco was from, presents an award with his name in reward to the artistic merit to painters borned in that state.
The José María Velasco Museum was opened in 1992 in Toluca City with the task of preserve and transmit his paintings.