Fine plate showing the clothing of typical Mexicans in a rural scene outside of Mexico City, from Mexico y Sus Alrededores. Coleccion de Monumentos, Trajes y Paisajes Dibujados al Natural y Lithografiados por los Artistas Mexicanos, publiished in Mexico City in 1855-1856.
Mexico y Sus Alrededores is generally regarded as the finest lithographic plate book depicting mid-19th Century Mexico to have been published in the 19th Century. It is the most elaborate and important Mexican lithographic book of its period. Primarily the work of Casimiro Castro, the master Mexican artist, the book depicts Mexico City and environs, including the people, costumes, landscape and built environment of what was then and still is a great American metropolis.
Particular note should be made of the details in costumes, architecture and birds-eye views, and the exceptional quality of both the tinted and colored plates. An example of Castro's attention to detail can be seen in his depiction, in a crowded plaza, of a pickpocket in the act of stealing. "The draughtsmanship and lithography is of a very high standard" - Abbey.
According to Roberto Mayer in his "Nacimiento y Desarrollo del Album Mexico y Sus Alrededores" (in: Casimiro Castro y Su Taller. Mexico. 1996), this book was not issued in true editions but rather copies were made as the market demanded. Accordingly, the plates were offered in parts to subscribers beginning in 1855, with bound sets available the following year containing 38 plates. Mayer also cites contemporary newspaper announcements offering the book with 40 plates in July 1862, and 42 plates in October 1863, with or without the text.
The most celebrated pictorial record of mid-nineteenth century Mexico and an important American color plate book.