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1933-45 Research
Featured Work
Featured here is one of the many works in the Government Art Collection, accompanied by further information about the work and the artist. The selection of works will change on a regular basis, so please come back again.

September 2010
The Valley of Mexico

The Valley of Mexico

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Artist  
Daniel Thomas Egerton
Title  
The Valley of Mexico   
Date  
1837
Medium  
  Oil on canvas
Dimensions  
131(h) x 185(W)
Acquisition  
Presented by Lord Wakefield, 1936
Number  
10/55
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Description
This view of The Valley of Mexico has been selected as the featured work for September 2010 to mark the bicentennial of the Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821). The war – an armed conflict between the people of Mexico and the Spanish colonial authorities – began on 16 September 1810.

In 1837, when this vibrant painting by Daniel Thomas Egerton was first exhibited at the Society of British Artists in London, it was described in The Athenaeum as 'Mr Egerton's gorgeous Valley of Mexico ... positively painted in humming-bird colours – a magnificent back scene for a fairy ballet'. Mexico City is seen to the left of the composition and beyond it is Lake Texcoco. The Sierra Nevada mountain range fills the background of the painting and to the right the snowcapped Popcatépetl volcano can be seen.

Daniel Thomas Egerton, a founder member of the Society of British Artists, exhibited in London from 1824. The date of his arrival in Mexico is not known, but his presence there is first recorded in 1834, when he visited Popocatépetl, a volcano 70 km southeast of Mexico City. Egerton later travelled through America and, in 1840, briefly returned to England, where he had a wife and children. He published twelve colour lithographs of views of Mexico with descriptive texts before returning to the country, accompanied by a woman named Agnes Edwards. Egerton and Edwards lived together in Tacubaya, now part of Mexico City but then in the country. In April 1842, as the couple were walking with their dog, they were attacked by ruffians and murdered.


 
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