The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The intention of the writer, José Corral Rigand, was to create a written portrait of Roberto Montenegro. He visited Montenegro accompanied by Juan José Tablada (a poet) and Juan Sánchez Azora. Right beside the artist was his painting, Hembra melancólica, [Melancholy Woman],which was to be given to another Mexican poet and diplomat, Amado Nervo. In a later interview at the Palacio de Iturbide, Montenegro opened up more about his life: he chatted about his four years in the Islas Baleares (Mallorca) and his adventures in Paris. Now that he had set up his studio in Mexico, it was decorated with a Talavera ceramic vase, an antique chair and another chair in the colonial style. The portraits of his contemporaries set the tone there, including one of Julio Torri, the Marquis of San Francisco. The writer notes that Montenegro lived in Venice and was a student of the Catalan painter, Hermen Anglada Camarasa. Corral Rigand considers the artist’s portrait of Mexican politician Jenaro Estrada to be so precise as to be almost a caricature; he believes that because caricatures do not idealize their subjects, they are the closest to portraits.
In spite of promising us a written portrait of the artist, what the writer provides instead is information about where the artist has been and what portraits he has created. What is unique about this essayist is that he considers a caricatural portrait the closest to reality. This point of view makes us aware of a change in the work of Roberto Montenegro (1887-1968), who was moving toward a certain kind of Expressionism. “José Corral Rigand” is the pseudonym used by the writer of this short article, Carlos Noriega Hope.