Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Art & Art History

First Advisor

James Córdova

Second Advisor

Claire Farago

Third Advisor

Kirk Ambrose


Recent scholarship on Latin American costumbrista literature has primarily focused on the genre’s relationship with its European predecessors. Although this has provided a rich genealogical analysis of the genre’s development in Latin America, it does not take into account the relationship between costumbrista literature, casta paintings and travel accounts. This thesis explores the previously overlooked comparative relationship between these genres in order to explore the construction of identities through protoethnographic and autoethnographic works in Mexico, specifically focusing on a selection of eighteenth-­century casta paintings, the 1828 travel account, Costumes civils, militaires et religieux, produced by Italian lithographer, Claudio Linati, and the 1853 costumbrista book, Los mexicanos pintados por sí mismos, produced by a collection of Mexican artists and authors.


Alternate title: The Lithographs of Claudio Linati and the Construction of Mexican Identity