Constantino Reyes Valerio

On Wednesday 13 December, 2006 Constantino Reyes-Valerio passed away victim of street violence of Mexico City. He is survived by his Wife Carolina, three children Gerardo, Constantino Carlos and Carolina Luz and four grandchildren Isabel, Santiago, Patricio and Andrés.

On Friday 15 December, a special tribute ceremony was held on the grounds of the Convent of Churubusco where he worked for several decades.

Several newspapers and TV channels reported the tragic event, here is the link to Milenio and El Universal.

  Welcome to my web Page
For the past 40 years I have been studing Mexican History in particular the XVI Century,  where I have been tracing the Artistic Indigenous work during Spanish Colony.
After years of research in this area I have started revisiting  many  Prehispanic Sources  in  particular the works of Fray Toribio de Benavente Motolinía and Fray Bernardino de Sahagún.
My background in Chemistry helped me to  Decipher the Maya Blue pigment the elusive and beautiful pigment developed by one of the most fascinating civilisations of the world.
Using microscopic imaging I discovered the ingredients and production process of the pigment. The most important is a special clay palygorskite.   Chapman mentioned the organic compound and Van Olphen discovered palygorskite but I synthesized from añil leaves.
Another of my passions is the Medieval and Colonial Christian Iconography in particular XVI Century in New Spain (Mexico) and Romanic and Gothic periods in Europe.
My latest work has come from different collaboration with several Chemists and physicists, Dr Giaccomo Chiari and Dr David Ajò, from the University of Turin, and Dr Manuel Sánchez del Rio from the ESRF in France. Together we are conducting Spectral Analysis of Maya Blue Pigment.
I am Emeritus Professor of the INAH - Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia in México. The  interview for this ocassion resumes much of my Life:

Constantino Reyes-Valerio, a life full of wisdom

CONACYT I am part of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (SNI-CONACYT), a research council established by the Mexican Government to promote Scientific Research.

In  1972  I was a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Finally, if you are interested in my research, you can visit two web pages related:

The material presented at the two recent University of London Conferences is here:

Maya Blue

If you wish to contact me, my email address is:



Constantino Reyes-Valerio
Pagina del Pigmento Azul Maya por Constantino Reyes-Valerio