Dusti Bongé sketch of Mexican church

If you’re an art lover, pilgrimage to Paris is a must. And London, and Rome and Florence and Vienna.

And Mexico. Mexico City continues creeping up and up my “to visit” list.

Don’t take my word for it, take Dusti Bongé’s.

Analysis of the artwork, as always, comes from Dusti Bongé Art Foundation Executive Director Ligia M. Römer.

Strathmore Alexis Drawing – p.6, c. 1955, pen & ink on paper, 8” x 6”

Herewith another sketch from one of Dusti Bongé’s many sketchbooks that fits in the story-telling category. This one in particular tells the story of one of her trips to Mexico.

Ever the intrepid traveler–after all, she traversed the world on a freighter–Dusti visited Mexico numerous times. She was enchanted by the place and noted in her 1982 book that every time she visited she had the feeling she had come home.

Originally containing 24 sheets, there are only 6 sheets left in this particular spiral bound sketchbook. These few remaining sheets include a random mix of contour drawings, and a few minimalist lines and shapes. Then there are various notes scribbled on some of the pages, names of people, and names of, and notes about, cities. These quick notes record the immediate visual impressions certain places made on her.

They include the following: “Beautiful View San Cristobel Los Casas (sic) in Chiapas … Hotel on Left … Pastel Churches.” 

And then there is the above sketch, the last one in the sketchbook, of what is clearly an ornate baroque church. San Cristobal de Las Casas indeed being dotted with many such churches, some known for their pastel colors, it is clear that they grabbed Dusti’s attention and she says as much in her book next to a painting titled Mexican Church: “The churches and cathedrals of Mexico are all so different.”

In this drawing it doesn’t matter which specific church this is. Dusti’s rather rough and quick rendering in pen clearly reflects the intricacies of any baroque church facade. As such she captures the main essence of the ornate style while telling a story about her travels and what captivated her imagination.

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