Luis Augusto Cuervo (1893–1954), the Mayor of Bogotá in 1929, a bibliophile and historian at the Academia Colombiana de Historia [Colombian History Academy], wrote one of the first biographical sketches of the Colombian painter Jesús María Zamora (1871-1948), which was published in the Boletín de Historia y Antigüedades [History and Antiquities Bulletin] in July 1949. Although a few laudatory obituaries had been published after the artist’s death (such as the article “Falleció esta mañana el maestro Zamora” [Maestro Zamora died this morning], published in the Bogotá newspaper El Espectador on July 17, 1948), the fact is that Cuervo’s article, though brief, was the first real attempt to place the painter in terms of his work. Cuervo does so by taking a broad look at Colombian art from the late nineteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century.
Cuervo’s article—the source of several subsequent research projects, such as Jesús María Zamora: discípulo de la naturaleza [Jesús María Zamora: Student of Nature] (Bogotá: Fondo Cultural Cafetero, 2003) by Fajardo de Rueda, Marta—includes descriptions that have helped to locate some of Zamora’s works and identify some of his paintings which, to this day, have not been found.
Some of the articles published prior to Cuervo’s biographical sketch were: (i) Bayona Posada, Nicolás. “Nuestros artistas: Jesús María Zamora” [Our Artists: Jesús María Zamora], Revista Letras: Órgano de la Sociedad Arboleda, No. 32, Bogotá (March 1914); (ii) Buenahora, Luis, “El paisajista J.M. Zamora” [The Landscape Artist J.M. Zamora], in Lecturas Dominicales [the Sunday pages], El Tiempo, Bogotá (May 23, 1923); (iii) El Caballero Duende [Eduardo Castillo], “Una entrevista con el pintor Zamora” [An Interview with the Painter Zamora], in Lecturas Dominicales [the Sunday pages], El Tiempo No. 191, Bogotá (March 20, 1927); (iv) Miró, Paco. “El paisajista Jesús M. Zamora” [The Landscape Artist Jesús M. Zamora], in Lecturas Dominicales [the Sunday pages], El Tiempo, Bogotá (September 23, 1923).