Stories of the Missions of the Church: Costumes Civils, Militaires, e Religieux du Mexique

Inventory Number: 24208



Claudio Linati was born in Parma on February 1, 1790 to Count Filippo and Emanuella of the Cogorani Counts, who died during childbirth. G. Caderini, a law student, who for many years lived in the Linati household, played an influential role in Linati’s education: it was he who instilled patriotic and liberal sentiments in the young Linati. Linati, from his youth, cultivated his artistic talents: in 1808 he entered the Parmese Society of engravers in watercolor (la “Société des graveurs au lavis”), founded the previous year by P. Toschi, A. Isac, T. Gasparotti, and V. Raggio. When he followed his father, legislative body deputy for the Department of Taro, to Paris in the beginning of 1809, he met artists such as J.-L. David, under whose tutelage he remained for some time. After 1814, he joined his father in Barcelona, and in February of the following year he married Spaniard Isabella Bacardì, with whom he had five children.

With the move of the family to Parma around 1818-1819 , he became close to local underground sects and became an activist of the revolutionary program in the Duchies of Modena and Parma. During the uprisings of 1820 he was arrested and then exiled. Between 1822 and 1823, he dedicated himself to the cause of the Spanish constitutionalists against the realists and the French campaign body. Arrested and condemned to death with his goods and property confiscated by the Spanish government, he finally found refuge in Holland. He also resided in Brussels for a period of time, working as a writer and translator.

In September of 1825, he departed for Mexico where he obtained citizenship, opened the first litographic laboratory of the country and an important school of design. Together with his friend, F. Galli, who had preceded him, and the profuse Cuban poet José María de Heredia y Campuzano, Linati founded the first literary review of the newly-independent country on February 4, 1826. The publication El Iris, “periódico crítico y literario” , was meant to entertain the public, particularly the female audience, with a politically-educative end goal. For this, he was soon opposed by other newspapers, including El Aguila and El Sol, and Linati risked expulsion. In September of 1826, Linati left for Europe; after brief stops in New York, London, and Antwerp, he arrived in Holland in March of the following year. In 1828 he published a work in segments that became rare and highly-valued (Costumes civiles, militaires et religieux du Mexique). This book featured colored illustrations and drawings equipped with informative notes, and it was welcomed with great interest and favorably reviewed by the Gazette des Pays-Bas. He collaborated for a long time with the review L’Industriel. Between 1830 and 1831, he continued to be active in the struggle for the liberty of Spain and Italy. In 1832, he left for Mexico once more. Disembarking in the port of Tampico, he died on December 11, 1832 after a “brief and painful illness” (perhaps yellow fever), as the local newspaper obituary mentioned the next day.