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In the author’s opinion there has seldom been a fairer appointment, because José Sabogal is not a token candidate, he is a hard-working painter. Another factor is the “authentic Peruvian-ness” of what José Eulogio Garrido calls the fervent spirituality of Sabogal’s work: a truly Peruvian style of painting that has never been seen before. Sabogal documents fascinating aspects of local life that underscore the total futility of the obsession with copying foreign movements and ideas. Garrido also points out that Sabogal does not portray Indians or scenes of the countryside as “exotic motifs,” thereby inverting the clichéd view of that approach by “painting them inside out;” in other words, his art is deep and substantial and does not trifle with marginal trivialities. Garrido predicts that the new energy Sabogal will bring to his role will make his leadership of the school a success, and asks the Peruvian government to provide him with the means to achieve those ends.


This article by the Peruvian writer and journalist José Eulogio Garrido, who uses the initial of his surname as his byline, appeared in the newspaper La Industria, in the northern Peruvian city of Trujillo, when José Sabogal, the founder of Peruvian indigenist painting, was appointed director of the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (Lima, June 1933). Sabogal’s appointment was not widely reported in the press as a result of the dramatic political events taking place at the time: the media was focused on the investigation into the assassination of Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro, the president of Peru, who was murdered in April, and the subsequent takeover by General Óscar R. Benavides, who remained in office until 1939. There is another article by Garrido about the ENBA entitled “José Sabogal y la Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes” [see in the ICAA digital archive (doc. no. 1140720)].


José Eulogio Garrido (1888–1967) was a well-known writer and journalist; he was born in Huancabamba (Piura) and was a leading intellectual in the city of Trujillo. He was the editor of the Trujillo newspaper La Industria (beginning in 1910) and then its director (1929–46). He was a member of the Grupo Norte, a group of distinguished young intellectuals and artists in northern Peru, including Antenor Orrego (1892–1960), Alcides Spelucín (1895–1976), César Vallejo (1892–1938), Juan Espejo Asturrizaga (1895–1965), Macedonio de la Torre (1893–1981), and Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre (1895–1979). He was editor of the Trujillo magazines El Iris (1913) and Perú (1921–22), and from 1927 to 1929 contributed to Amauta, the magazine published in Lima by José Carlos Mariátegui. He was later appointed Director of the Museo Arqueológico de la Universidad Nacional de Trujillo (1949–63). His literary output, which was clearly influenced by the indigenist ideas of the period, expressed his admiration for the landscape and cultures of northern Peru. He is best known for his articles published in La Industria and his books Visiones de Chan Chan (1931); Carbunclos (1946); and El Ande (1929 and 1949), illustrated by Camilo Blas and Sabogal. He was a staunch admirer and close friend of Sabogal’s, as can be seen in this text and in a number of articles he published during the 1920s. 

Gabriela Germana Roquez
Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima, Peru