Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Portrait of Maximilian

Thanks to my correspondent, R., who spotted this in El Universal, a Mexico City newspaper: A portrait of Maximilian has been auctioned by Mortons for 450,000 pesos, about USD 20,000. 

The article notes that the portrait comes with a letter of 1865 from Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, thanking don Angel Bustamente for his services to the Emperor. This was probably for his hospitality on one of Maximilian's tours. If I could get to my copy of Konrad Ratz and Amparo Temexicuapan's book on Maximilain's travels I could probably figure out the specifics.

Almonte was a prime mover in bringing Maximilian to Mexico and, in 1865, he served as Mariscal de la Corte, or Court Chamberlain.

There are probably a good number of these portraits floating about Mexico... I have yet to see one displayed anyone's living room, however.

I wonder what its new owner plans to do with it?

A tidbit of a memory comes to mind. When I first came to Mexico and started work at ITAM, a private university, back in the 1980s, the office I inherited included a large closet, and inside that I found a portrait of Karl Marx. It was swiftly removed by its owner, who taken a better, corner office. He liked to joke that he was a closet Marxist. 


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