José Gil de Castro, Artist of the Libertadores

Dudes, this is one impressive guy. Gil de Castro’s Simón Bolívar, c. 1823. Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI). Image from Wikimedia Commons and Google Art.

You might remember José Gil de Castro from my discussion of the many historical inaccuracies of The Liberator, the Venezuelan film about the Venezuelan hero Simón Bolívar that strayed rather wide of Bolívar’s actual life. Gil de Castro was the guy who painted that particularly impressive image of big-nosed, red-coated, shiny-buttoned, blue-medaled Bolívar, looking most impressive (and somewhat pleased with himself, though he had, I think, the right to self-importance). Because I like to citation-chain, and because I will gladly extend citation-chaining to artist-chaining, I discovered fairly quickly that this guy Gil de Castro had Continue reading

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El Libertador: Accuracy (Un)Required

I am (usually) a literary and historical purist with a masochistic yen for watching adaptions. So, when the film Libertador came out (translated into English as Liberator, though even Wikipedia has an English-language article called “Libertadores” about these guys), I knew I had to see it. I mean, it’s about Simón Bolívar, and even though he and his pals mark the end of the colonial (outside Puerto Rico and a few other places), they are also a sort of liminal space between republics and colonies–and, of course, I’ve read Bolívar’s letters. A lot. I think I even had Carta de Jamaica (Letter from Jamaica, available online in Spanish and English translation) memorized for a while. Continue reading