DID YOU KNOW: During Jean Charlot's participation in the Carnegie Institute's Maya Expedition
during the 1920s; he and his colleagues built their cottages at the
Chichen, now Chichen Itza's hotels top choice offers you his
lovely cottage with four ample rooms named in his honor; all fully
green eco-friendly remodeled recently.
For more information about Jean Charlot and the Hacienda Chichen,
Charlot Brief Biography:
A French-Mexican artist, illustrator and
muralist, writer and archaeologist,
Jean Charlot was born in France
and attended the National School of Fine Arts in Paris. In 1921,
Charlot and his widowed mother immigrated to Mexico where his
mother’s family had lived for several generations. Charlot played a
major role in the post-revolutionary florescence of
becoming close friends of many leading muralists: José Clemente
Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Fernando Leal and Xavier Guerrero.
He began his mural painting as an assistant to Diego Rivera. It is
accepted that Charlot’s knowledge of fresco painting was critical in
the development of the techniques favored by the leading muralists.
Charlot’s own mural, “The Massacre in the [Aztec] Main Temple,”
painted on the walls of the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria is
usually considered the Mexican mural movement’s first true fresco.
Charlot devoted much of his artistic energy producing prints,
particularly woodcuts. He carried with him from France his devotion
to popular folk art (the Images d’Epinal), and early
recognized the importance of Mexican satirical pre-revolutionary
printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. Throughout Charlot’s career, he
stressed his commitment to creating popular, reproducible, and even
useful art for the people.
While in Mexico, he wrote many articles, collaborated closely with
writer Anita Brenner and a dear friend to photographer
His art style strongly reflected the
Mayan Pre-Columbian sculptural
traditions of Mexico, their ties to the earth and stress on
geometric forms and volume. From 1926 through 1928, Charlot
lived and worked at
Chichen in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, as an
expedition artist for the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s
Chichén Itzá. As a co-author of The Temple of the
Warriors report he gained fame as “the painter turned
Today, some of his artwork can be enjoyed at the hotel
Chichen Resort's main lobby.
In fall of 1928, Charlot moved to New York to seek new career
opportunities; however Mexico remained the prime inspiration for the
subject and style of his art. In the summer of 1931, he returned to
Mexico where he met his future wife Zohmah Day. In 1945, he
received a Guggenheim fellowship to return to Mexico to write his
masterwork, The Mexican Mural Renaissance: 1920-1925. In
1949, he was invited to join the faculty of the University of
Hawai’I as teacher and artist in residence. He, his wife and four
children, remained at the university until his death in 1979. His
Mexican experience, now transformed into Polynesian settings,
continued to echo in his newly created murals, paintings and prints.
Charlot, Jean. The Mexican Mural Renaissance, 1920-1925.
New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press, 1963.
Charlot, Jean. An Artist on Art. Collected Essays of Jean
University Press of Hawaii, 1972.
Thomas, ed. Jean Charlot: A Retrospective. Honolulu:
University of Hawai’i Art Gallery, 1990.
Koprivitza, Milena, and Blanca Garduño Pulido, eds. México in la
obra de Jean
Charlot. México: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes,
McVicker, Donald. “El pintor convertido en arqueólogo.” In
Koprivitza and Garduño Pulido, eds., pp. 57-72.
Peter. Jean Charlot's Prints: A Catalogue Raisonné.
University Press of Hawai’i and the Jean Charlot Foundation, 1976.
McVicker recently retired as Professor of Anthropology/International
Studies, North Central College, Naperville, IL. He received
his Ph.D. in Anthroplogy from the University of Chicago. He
has worked extensively in Mexico and has specialized in the
archaeology and art history, particularly on the analysis of
pre-Columbian murals. Dr. McVicker is also known for his
research on the history of anthropology. The study of Jean
Charlot's work for the Carnegie Institution's excavations at Chichén
Itzá has provided him with the opportunity to combine his two
primary professional interests.
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Jean Charlot Cottage is embraced by beautiful
fauna in Chichen Itza, Yucatan,
Mexico. Plan to visit and enjoy the magical ambiance of this
enchanting green boutique hotel the best among Yucatan Haciendas and
Chichen Itza hotels !
Updated April 2009, September 2012, Jan 2013