Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Modern Foreign Languages

Major Professor

Oscar Rivera-Rodas

Committee Members

Nuria Cruz-Camara, Michael H. Handelsman, Isabel Solange Munoz


Impressionist criticism has been deemed as a superficial and hedonistic type of criticism, and therefore has been largely ignored in the historiography of Spanish-American criticism. This dissertation studies works of impressionist criticism by the Guatemalan author Enrique Gómez Carrillo (Guatemala, 1873-Paris, 1927), who belongs to the so called modernistas writers. This work highlights the contribution of Gómez Carrillo’s impressionist criticism in terms of its subjective taste and its subjective concept of beauty, as well as its relationship to plastic arts (painting and sculpture) and physiognomy. This research focuses mainly on Gómez Carrillo’s work Esquisses (siluetas de escritores y artistas) (1892), which was his first impressionist work of criticism. It studies the influence on this work of three distinctive artforms: the impressionist painting fleeting sensations and the esquisse, the postimpressionist silhouette and the cameo. The cameo, in particular, as a form of jewelry and a form of sculpture, informed his fascination with physiognomy in the literary portraits of Esquisses (siluetas de escritores y artistas), specifically in the section entitled “Cameos”.

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