The Cartoon of Ricardo Rendón

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Next October 28 is the 76th Anniversary of the dead of the Colombian cartoonist Ricardo Rendón, one of the most famous graphic journalists of the 20th Century in Latin America. Rendón committed suicide on October 28, 1931 in Bogotá. To honor one of the most notorious Colombians, the municipality of Rionegro invites to the 14th Rendon International Cartoon Festival. Cartoonist interested in this event should see the information in their site ( There will be prizes for the first works of trade and the two first ones in free subject.

By Albeiro Rodas, Rendon´s Cartoons from the Luis Angel Arango Virtual Library of Bogotá.

When you visit a new country, you should ask tourist agencies about it. Normally tourist agencies will tell you where to go, prevent you about many things, give you many recommendations and bring you to the best places. Thanks to the tourist agencies you could enjoy a country and you would get beautiful pictures to up load in your Flickr. It is true also that many modern travelers prefer to do by themselves and discover for their own the country. In this case, all the information on the Internet becomes very helpful to guide the modern Marco Polos. Therefore, if you get to love a country, like a one you visit just for know a new place, and it came to be more than what you were waiting, you have to see the country through the eyes of its people. Those people can be anyone you meet, the ones who will open the doors of their culture and traditions. After, you have to ask to a very special groups of persons who will show you the country in its many faces: artists and journalists.

Rendón de Antioquia

The best cartoonist of Colombia during the 20th century and even one of the best of Latin America was Ricardo Rendón. Even after 76 years, Rendon still the model for graphic journalism and cartoon. He was born in 1894 in a city famous for be the cradle of notorious characters for the national history like General José María Córdoba, the Bolivar of Antioquia, the place that was the seat of the Rionegros’ Convention where it was signed a National Constitution on February 3, 1863 that created the “United States of Colombia” until 1886. Rionegro was also one of the most important centers of the Spaniard colony in Antioquia in connection with its first capital, Santa Fe de Antioquia. In Medellín, the young Ricardo Rendón went to followe academic studies with Francisco A. Cano, painter and sculpture in Escuela de Bellas Artes (Fine Art School of Medellín). He did some works in the city to artistic publications like the Pánida Magazine of the young free thinkers “Panida Group” – he himself was one of its members with other notorious Colombians like the architect and sketcher, Libardo Parra Toro, León de Greiff and Fernando González Henao. Rendón participated also in the group as a writer, but his would be the drawings that he started to sign as Daniel Zegri. The other unforgettable group that will influence the political and literature life of Colombia in which one Rendon was an active member, was Los nuevos cuyo, “The New whose”, with the poet León de Greiff and Luis Tejada. In Medellín started his work for El Espectador, other publications and companies of the city.

Rendón de Bogotá

When he went to live in Bogotá in 1918, the name of Rendón was already known and admired and was fired by other important newspapers of the time like La República and El Tiempo. He received a proposal to work in the New York Times, but he declined, as he did not want to let Colombia, but such fact demonstrates that his work was already out of the country and his talent was respect by the foreign journalism. Rendón put in his sketches the political and social life of the 20’s in Colombia and his works are an excellent historical document as a whole of what was the nation during the first part of the century.

Historians are not sure of the reasons that conducted this master of art and journalism to end drastically his life on October 28, 1931. The suicide was committed in one of his favorite places in Bogotá, La Gran Vía bar, ending with the life of a 37 years old man that became the graphic voice of the political and literature life of Colombia. His name stands alone in the history of journalism in Latin America. His is a work that is worthy of a long analysis as a master for generations to come.


* “1894 -Ricardo Rendón- 1994”, Periódico El Colombiano, Suplemento Dominical, Medellín, domingo 12 de junio de 1994.

* ESCOBAR CALLE, Miguel. Ricardo Rendón, el humor hecho satira, centenario del nacimiento del mejor caricaturista colombiano del siglo XX. Revista Credencial de Historia, edición 53, Bogotá, mayo de 1994. En Biblioteca Virtual Luís Angel Arango.

* OBREGÓN, Elkin. Biografía de Rendón. Revista Credencial Historia, Tomo III, enero-diciembre de 1992, en Festival Internacional de Caricatura Ricardo Rendón.

* GONZÁLEZ OCHOA, Fernando. Ricardo Rendón. Corporación Otraparte, Envigado.

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