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Return to The Art of Jose Posada

The Spanish word "calavera" means "skull", and by extension "skeleton". In the present case it designates prints in which all the characters are skeletons miming every conceivable activity in human existence. Most of these prints were prepared for sale around All Souls' Day, November 2, when it is traditional to sell figurines, toys, cakes, candy, etc., in the form of skeletons, and to make elaborate offerings to dead relatives. Posada used his calavera prints as social reportage, as minifestos and as political and social satire.

These bicyclists each represent a contemporary newspaper company between 1889 and 1895. All are presumedly "racing" to cover a story, or perhaps "competing" in the marketplace.