I trust that some hearts may respond to these facts.
H. Chauncey Riley.
Among the many interesting institutions in Mexico, the National School of Art and Design is worthy of special mention. This establishment is on an immense plan like every other public institution, but is in many particulars imperfect, for want of sufficient funds to carry out all the ideas of its founders. The building, of cut stone, very costly, and substantially built, covers a great area, but is only partially furnished and occupied. Commenced in the last century, its style of art is still of the ancient order, though perfect in its way. Many really fine painters have graduated here, and their works cover the walls of the vast salons.
Among the recent graduates is Felipe Gutierrez, who two years since, attracted much attention in San Francisco, California, as a portrait painter, and after earning a respectable sum in that branch of his profession, went to Rome, and there recommenced his studies under the most favorable auspices. I heard of him a few weeks since, as one of the most promising artists of the art capital of the world. Among the pictures on the wall I saw and recognized several of his.
The Mexican people—I might say the Spanish American people—have a natural talent for music, painting, and the fine arts generally, far beyond that of our own countrymen or even of the Europeans; and the wealth of painting and sculpture, the former especially, to be found in Mexico, in public institutions and private residences, is almost beyond belief.