Off to Mexico

We drove down Mexico’s Baja Peninsula as far as Guaymas, taking all kinds of foolish risks on roads that had been eroded by the rains. We crossed rivers and streams on boards, boats and railway trestles. It was a bit crazy when I think of it now. At night, I had to shoo away the cows lying on the dry roads, giving them little nudges with the bumper. One by one, slow and dignified, they would get up. From Mazatlán on the coast, we headed inland towards Patzcuaro, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Cuernavaca and Taxco, and then back through Teotihuacan, Monterrey and New Orleans. Christian was in fine form. He often rode standing on the back of the front seat with his head sticking out the pop-up roof, protected by swimming goggles and getting a terrific view of the landscape! The van was stuffed to the gills with magnificent Mexican crafts. When we got back, Pierre Mercure made good use of them, asking me to illustrate Copland’s El Salón Mexico for L’heure du concert/The Concert Hour.

Janitzio Island. Credit: Frédéric Back, Lake Patzcuaro, 1955
Marketplace. Credit: Frédéric Back, Mexico City, 1955
Teotihuacan. Credit: Frédéric Back, Sketch, 1955
Landscape. Credit: Frédéric Back, Monterrey, sketch, 1952
Illustration for Aaron Copland’s El Salón Mexico. Credit: Roland Truchon, 1955