Aurelio G.D. Mendoza
Artist Architect Scenographer
About Aurelio G.D. Mendoza
Mendoza was born in Guadalajara in the State of Jalisco, Mexico, in 1901. At the age of 17, he learned to paint scenery with the Tarazona Brothers from Valencia, Spain. In Mexico City, he painted scenic backdrops for several theaters, including the Palace of Fine Arts. He was known as "El Mago de la Escenografia," which means "The Magician of Scenography."
When Mendoza realized his talent for executing architectural projects, he entered La Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, where he learned from Lino Picaseno y Cuevas. He soon became a draftsman, collaborating with architects and building engineers. Eventually, he served as the General Director and Artistic Designer of Mexico City's Teatro Metropolitan, which houses his 8' by 12' oil paintings. He also contributed the asbestos tapestry in the Teatro Alameda as well as 10' by 30' paintings in the Cine Bucareli. Mendoza contributed to the design and interior backdrops, statues, and paintings in the historical and cinematic treasure Cine Plaza theaters in Chihuahua, Cuahtemoc, and Juarez.
Private commissions included the design of buildings and residences such as the Kessel mansion in Polanco, Mexico.
In the 1930s, Mendoza began a painting that would be the first in his trilogy, El Camino Real. Offering to the New God depicts the indigenous people of Tenochitlan paying homage to their savior, Jesus Christ on the cross.
In the late 1960s, Mendoza began his second painting of the trilogy, focusing on Fr. Junipero Serra. Part of his process was researching Fr. Serra's life and mission work, and visiting with Rev. Maynard Geiger of the Franciscan Friars to learn more. He completed the trilogy in 1976.
His final and most renowned project is La Ofrenda, a dedication to the Virgen de las Americas, Guadalupe. Mendoza passed away in 1996. His remains are entombed in a crypt in the mausoleum beneath the Basilica of La Virgen de Guadalupe.