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100 Highlights
of the MFAH
Take a tour through some of the most significant objects in the MFAH collections. On these pages, you can browse 100 highlights from collections throughout the institution. Then visit the Museum in person to discover your own favorites.
© Fundación Pan Klub - Museo Xul Solar
Argentinean, 1887 - 1963
Jefa (Patroness)
Watercolor on paper, set on cardboard

10 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided by the
2005 Latin American Experience Gala and Auction

Arts of Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean

Argentinean painter, poet, inventor, and esoteric thinker Alejandro Schulz Solari began studying architecture in 1906, but he later abandoned this vocation to study music, theater, and especially philosophy. He dedicated himself to the learning of several languages, as well as the history of art, the kabbalah, and astrology. All of these subjects influenced his visual-art production, and his study of the occult, in particular, led him to change his name to Xul Solar, an approximate anagram of lux solaris.

Xul developed a style of painting based on his metaphysical beliefs, which incorporated abstractionist tendencies, geometric figures, and linguistic-visual collages. His watercolors, such as Jefa, exemplify the unique visual language he created, immersed in a world of universal and philosophical scope. Here, the cat-like central figure is layered with Xul´s symbols culled from Egyptian, Asian, and Pre-Columbian sources and labeled with the word jefa, or patroness.