Mexico: Jose Maria Alva, 1828. pp. Quarto. Original printed wrappers, pictorial vignettes on front wrapper. Old horizontal fold, later repair to last leaf and rear wrapper at gutter, small closed tear to front wrapper. Slight separation at edges of folds, a few small chips. Inscribed by Beauchamp on p.. Very good. Untrimmed. Item #WRCAM56430
An apparently unrecorded prospectus advertising a forthcoming illustrated history of Mexican independence and the establishment of the First Mexican Republic in 1824, by painter and engraver Theubet de Beauchamp. Beauchamp explains that the work will be composed of thirteen engravings that represent the next twelve most memorable episodes in the new history of Mexico, with the last one to be chosen by those who subscribe ("Se compondrá de trece grabados que representen las siguientes doce épocas mas memorables de la nueva historia de México, y el restante queda reservado para que su objeto sea á eleccion del mayor número de los señores que se subscriban"). Beauchamp explains that, having convinced the new Mexican government of the importance of his project, he has received support and early subscriptions from many government officials, including the governors of several Mexican states. A significant list of subscribers is included, noting that "El gobierno de la Union" has ordered five copies, and the "Gobierno del Estado de México" has ordered ten copies. Other notable subscribers include Miguel Ramos Arizpe, Vicente Guerrero, and Manuel Gómez Pedraza, as well as the then-U.S. Minister to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett. Theubet de Beauchamp was a French artist, known for his depictions of traditional life in Mexico. However, Juan Ortiz Escamilla suggests that, in this instance, Beauchamp had been sent by the Spanish king Ferdinand VII to collect information on Mexican society, military and government officials, infrastructure developments, and anything else that might be useful for his plans to reconquer Mexico: "En 1827 el monarca envió a México al pintor francés Theubet Beauchamp para que recopilara información sobre la sociedad mexicana, los actores de la guerra de 1810, objetos y todo lo que fuera útil para los planes de reconquista...." It is unclear whether the project was ever completed as proposed here, however Beauchamp's art illustrated numerous works on Mexico throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Juan Ortiz Escamilla, "Veracruz en el siglo XIX," in HISTORIA GENERAL DE VERACRUZ, eds. Martin Aguilar Sánchez & Juan Ortiz Escamilla (Xalapa-Veracruz: Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz/SEV/Univ. Veracruziana, 2011), pp.217-75. Sonia Lombardo de Ruiz, TRAJES Y VÍSTAS DE MÉXICO EN LA MIRADA DE THEUBET DE BEAUCHAMP: TRAJES CIVILES Y MILITARES Y DE LOS POBLADORES DE MÉXICO ENTRE 1810 Y 1827 (Madrid: Turner/México, D.F.: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2009).