El Charro

El Charro

This is a portrait of a Mexican cowboy wearing a traditional sombrero hat.

Charro, in Mexico, is historically the horseman from the countryside, the Ranchero, who worked on the haciendas and rural areas performing all his tasks on horseback, working as vaqueros and caporales, among other jobs. He was renowned for his superb horsemanship, for his skill in handling the lasso, and for his unique costume designed especially for horseback riding. Today, this name is given to someone who practices charreada (similar to a rodeo), considered the national sport of Mexico which maintains traditional rules and regulations in effect from colonial times up to the Mexican Revolution. ⎯Wikipedia accessed April, 2024

Published: The National Geographic Magazine, Washington, D.C.: June 1914, p. 633. The full page halftone shows El Charro reversed, and not cropped. Original caption:  Mexican Charro And His Hat:  Photo from H. Ravell:  “What leather breeches and “chaps” with their elaborate fringes mean to the American cowboy of the old school, the big sombrero means to the “man on horseback” in Mexico. His hat may cost half as much as his horse, and his sarape may match the rainbow for colors. When the elder Diaz attired his “rurales” in such a uniform there was always a waiting list.” (the cover of a vintage issue of the magazine shows the Ravell portrait was included as part of a feature called Scenes in Mexico- With 30 Illustrations.)

El Charro

Image Dimensions33.0 x 26.5 cm unmounted

Print Notes

Recto: signed in print at lower right: H. Ravell

Verso: cursive titled in graphite, centered: El Charro

Exhibitions | Collections

-Museum of Wayne County History, Lyons New York. : “Mexican Peon”. Titled “A Mexican Peon” in 1978 Wayne museum catalogue showing a profile of a gentleman wearing an embroidered sombrero.

-California Museum of Photography, Riverside, California (UCR Arts) : “Mexican Charro” 1984.0023.0012


December, 2023 from John Moran Auctioneers, Inc. Monrovia, CA: The Collection of Frederick W. Davis: Lot 1281.