Julio Ruelas was a paradigmatic artist of Mexican Symbolism who had studied at the Academy in Danzig, Germany.
Ruelas, who was a taciturn, bohemian temperament, was an excellent draftsman and wad admired by poets and thinkers.
He returned to the Mexican City in 1895 but spent the last three years of his life in France, living on a modest government stipend in Paris, where he died by tuberculosis.
It was there, working in the studio of Marie Cazin, that he created his nine etchings: though few in number, his prints were magisterial in quality.
Ruelas was the principal illustrator of the Revista Moderna, the magazine that enjoyed great esteem in all Spanish-speaking nations. In certain ways, this publication could be compared with the "Yellow Book", publishing excellent Spanish translations of Novalis, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire, the poetry of Ruben Darío, essays on architecture, etc.
The Revista Moderna was similar to other like-minded European reviews, even in terms of its graphic design, yet it did not pretend to have a massive distribution as it was a publication for artists and intellectuals.
There were a very sharp public controversy between Dr. Atl and the friends of Ruelas, because he was a painter of cadavers, hanged satyrs, fantasies of lover’s suicides while Atl made use of the palette of the Impressionists and all the other audacious traits of the members of the School of Paris.