Mialhe’s Colonial Cuba [fr]


At the initiative of its president and treasurer, the France Florida Foundation for the Arts will be presenting the work of the engraver and sculptor Frédéric Mialhe on May, 29th.

Frédéric Mialhe Toussaint was born in Bordeaux, France, on April, 14th, 1810. Arriving in Havana in 1838, he studied the city and its surroundings. His major work in Cuba as illustrator of the book “The picturesque Cuba Island” (La isla de Cuba pintoresca), published in 1838 with more than 25 lithographs depicting landscapes, has given a lasting image of colonial Cuba. His work overtook the initial purpose of his mission - he lithographed not only the beauty of some landscapes and urban buildings but also a series of prints which are considered as representative of 19th century Havana day-life, such as young women travelling in “quitrin” around “La Fuente de la India”, or a baker passing by Santo Cristo del Buen Viaje square.

He became part of the Cuban society working as a drawing professor in the Liceo Literario y Artitisco de la Habana and as the director of the San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts; and, in his spare time, explored the Cuban archipelago with scientist Felipe Poey. During this journey, he made bucolic prints depicting Nuevitas’ sailors fishing sponges, or showing the coffee plantation of “La Ermita”.

Mialhe returned to France in 1854 where he continued his artistic work, and later died in Paris in 1881. Although rarely mentioned in Art history, he helped create a lasting picture of 19th century Cuba and is today recognized as one of the most important figures in Cuban culture: his work is presented in the Havana National Museum of Fine Arts and in the Museum of Colonial Art.

An expert and great admirer of Mialhe’s work, Dr. Emilio Cueto, retraces the French engraver’s career through a presentation that aims to preserve his artistic legacy. In the continuity of his brilliant biography of the artist (Mialhe’s colonial Cuba), E. Cueto shares with us his long-term investigation work and reveals strong old links between France and Cuba.

DATE: May 29 at 6:30pm

LOCATION: Casa Bacardi
1531 Brescia Avenue, Coral Gables, FL 33146

For information please call
(305) 284-CUBA (2822);
FAX (305) 284-4875

Published on May, 22th.

Last modified on 22/05/2014

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