Artists: The Volcanic Volcanist

No painter could ever claim a more fiery passion than Mexico's Gerardo Murillo. He loved volcanoes. He lived four months on the slopes of Mount Etna, spent six months inside Popoca tepetl's crater, and bought Paricutin volcano for $78 when it was a baby in 1943. He so mistreated his body that his teeth fell out from sulphur fumes and a leg was amputated because of bad circulation. He called himself "Dr. Atl" (Aztec for water), and signed that name to more than 11,000 drawings and 1,000 paintings, mostly volcanic landscapes.

At the turn of the century, storming the European...

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