German-born Mexican photographer. Photographs
by Hugo Brehme document two episodes of the Mexican Revolution: La Decena
Trágica of 1913, the ten days of counter-revolutionary insurrections against
President Francisco Madero; and the American occupation of Veracruz in 1914.
Also included are several general views of Mexico, circa 1914-1920.
Hugo Brehme, born in Germany in 1882, arrived in Mexico in 1908 with
his wife and photographic equipment. Though he expected the visit to be
relatively brief, he spent the rest of his life in Mexico and is considered one
of the founders of Mexican pictorialist photography. His early photographs were
documentary, and include views of the Mexican Revolution that have served as
source material for various 20th century Mexican artists. The most famous of
these, the portrait of Zapata in Cuernavaca, was for many years attributed to
Agustín Víctor Casasola, with whom Brehme collaborated from 1913 to1914. After
the revolution, Brehme turned to pictorialism, making impressionistic views of
the Mexican landscape and inhabitants. These photographs, taken as he wandered
with cumbersome equipment through remote, often mountainous regions, were
highly acclaimed when published in his collection México Pintoresco (1923).
Brehme continued to publish photographs in magazines such as National
Geographic and Mapa, and in various books about Mexican culture and geography,
until his death in 1954.
Brehme, Hugo, México pintoresco, México
D.F., 1990 (1923).
Brehme, Hugo, México: una nación persistente:
fotografías, México D.F., 1995.
Brehme, Hugo, Pueblos y paisajes de México,
México D.F., 1992.