SÁNCHEZ Y TAPÍA, LINO

John C. Ewers

SÁNCHEZ Y TAPÍA, LINO (?–1838). Lino Sánchez y Tapía, of Matamoros, Tamaulipas, was a scientific illustrator for Jean Louis Berlandier in the 1830s. Watercolor sketches of Hispanic and Indian costume in Texas indicate that Sánchez trained in an early nineteenth-century Mexican art school. His work closely corresponds to that of a Mexican group of artists called the Costumbristas-painters of regional, ethnic, and class costume. This subject became popular with natural scientists in the eighteenth century and was introduced into Mexico in 1825 by an Italian student of costume, Claudio Linati. Sánchez's sketches resemble traditional European fashion plates. "Each figure is posed like a mannequin...Arms and legs [are] set so as to expose details of costume and accessories. Anatomy is conventionalized with no specific tribal or ethnic types." The similarities of Sánchez's drawings to Linati's civil, military, and religious dress are unmistakable. The accuracy of these drawings, however, is questionable; the medium of watercolor makes representing constructional details difficult, many of the images are possibly based on verbal descriptions from Berlandier, and Sánchez may not have had much knowledge about contemporary fashionable costume.

In 1828 the Mexican government organized an expedition into Texas called the Comisión de Límites. The supervisor was Manuel de Mier y Terán, Berlandier was chosen as zoologist and botanist, and sublieutenant José María Sánchez y Tapía joined the group as cartographer and draftsman. Nowhere do the records of the Comisión de Límites indicate that Lino Sánchez y Tapía was a member of the party that entered Texas in 1828. However, upon the death of José on August 18, 1834, it appears that Lino was chosen as his replacement. Though documentation is unavailable, Lino may have been a close relative of José; both appear to have come from Matamoros.

Sánchez y Tapía's important illustrations of Texas Indians in typical attire are reproduced in The Indians of Texas in 1830 (1969) by Jean Louis Berlandier. Most of these drawings are labeled as after originals by either José María Sánchez y Tapía or by Berlandier himself. Yet one of them picturing the Karankawa Indians of the Gulf Coast bears only the name of Lino Sánchez y Tapía. Other illustrations by Sánchez consist of watercolor sketches of firearms and horse trappings, zoological and botanical subjects, drawings of Texas towns, and Hispanic ranchers in Texas.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Richard E. Ahlborn, "European Dress in Texas, 1830: As Rendered by Lino Sánchez y Tapia," American Scene 13 (1972). Jean Louis Berlandier, Indians of Texas in 1830, ed. John C. Ewers and trans. Patricia Reading Leclerq (Washington: Smithsonian, 1969).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, John C. Ewers, "SÁNCHEZ Y TAPÍA, LINO," accessed October 21, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsa70.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on August 3, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...