Pedro Linares

Pedro Linares Lopez
Born(1906-06-29)June 29, 1906
DiedJanuary 26, 1992(1992-01-26) (aged 85)
Known forAlebrijes, papier-mâché
AwardsNational Prize for Arts and Sciences (1990)

Pedro Linares López (29 June 1906 – 26 January 1992) was a Mexican artist born in Mexico City known for his papier-mâché figurines named alebrijes.


Pedro Linares began his career as a maker of the effigies known as Judas figures, traditionally made of carton during the Catholic Easter season in Mexico, and by making figurines for Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and other artists from the Academia de San Carlos School of Fine Arts in Mexico City. The mythical figures known as "alebrijes" were created by Linares when he was 30, allegedly after he caught an illness. His own alebrijes originated from a dream, which depicted his death and rebirth in a mountainous setting inhabited by these creatures.

Alebrije bird sculpture by Pedro Linares

After his illness subsided, Linares began to materialize his vision and the art of making alebrijes was born. He wanted his family and others to know about the animals he dreamt of by taking a piece of paper and molding the figurines from his memory and then painting them as he saw them in his dream.[1]

Linares gained national and international attention following the 1975 documentary Linares: Artesano de Cartón from Judith Bronowski. Part of a documentary series on Mexican folk craft, it resulted in traveling workshops from the films' subjects. Among them was Manuel Jiménez Ramírez, a wood sculptor who took the concept of alebrijes from Linares and began producing wooden "Oaxacan alebrijes".[2] Besides the material, Oaxacan alebrijes differ in being more realistic representations of animals[2] and incorporating ideas of the nahual.[3]

In 1990, Linares was awarded the National Prize for Arts and Sciences (Premio Nacional de Ciencias y Artes) in the Popular Arts and Traditions category, the highest decoration to artisans granted by the federal government of Mexico.[citation needed]

The work done by Linares for Diego Rivera is now displayed at the Anahuacalli Museum in Mexico City.[3]

In the United States, exhibitions of his work were held at the Smithsonian Institution, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Craft Contemporary, the Museum of Us and the Fullerton Museum Center.[4]


Linares died at the age of 85 in 1992.[4]

His three children and later grandchildren helped preserve Linares' name with the refined art of cartonería. Alebrijes continue to be produced by the Linares family and in other workshops across Mexico.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ "Google honors artist Pedro Linares López with a new Doodle". UPI. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Los auténticos creadores de los alebrijes no son de Oaxaca, se apellidan Linares". México Desconocido (in Spanish). 27 May 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b Ochoa, Andrea (28 October 2020). "Conoce el origen de los alebrijes, las figuras fantásticas del arte popular". AD Magazine México y Latinoamérica (in Spanish). Architectural Digest. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  4. ^ a b Oliver, Myrna (1 February 1992). "Pedro Linares, 85; Mexican Folk Artist". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  5. ^ Bercovitch, Helyn (7 September 2001). "In memory of Don Pedro: Alebrije art from a master artist". MexConnect. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  6. ^ Masuoka, Susan N. (1994). En Calavera: The Papier-Mâché Art of the Linares Family. Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. ISBN 978-0930741419.

External links


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