In the second half of the XIXth century, there was a growing awareness, at both the institutional level and on the part of some individuals, of the key role played by the visual image in the building of a national identity. Hence, in 1869, the National Fine Arts School instituted competitions involving works devoted to Mexican history. The theme for the competitions held in 1889 was very clearly defined namely, the legend which recounts how the members of the Mexica tribe, after the god, Huitzilopochtli, had appeared to them, wandered until they found the place where they were to build their first temple and the city in which they were to dwell. The procedures for the competition included a "surprise test'' whereby the five competitors, José María Jara, Joaquín Ramírez, Leandro Izaguirre, Andrés Ríos and Adolfo Tenorio, would be told the topic on the spot, and have six hours to produce the corresponding sketch. On the following day, they were to color in the said sketch. The works of Ramírez and Izaguirre received an 'honorable mention in this competition, while that submitted by Jara, entitled The Founding of México City, won first prize. In the center of his painting, we can see the Mexica leader, Tenoch, who led his people to the prophesied spot. On his left, the priest, Cuauhtloquetzqui -who witnessed the apparition of Huitzilopochtli-shows him the spot where, moments ago, an eagle has devoured a snake whose remains can be seen at the foot of the demolished prickly pear cactus on which the said bird had perched. On Tenoch´s right is a woman with a child in her arms, symbolizing the permanency of the Mexica people in this, their new home. On the right, in the background, we can see a group of natives guarding the god´s effigy and, on the opposite side, other natives who are approaching and remarking on the scene before them. A notable feature of this work is the tendency to eschew the classical canons of Academic art in favor of an end product with greater realism and expressiveness. Perhaps it was because of these features, and the lack of "historical elements", that the critics of the day did not give the work a favorable reception. This piece previously hung in the National Fine Arts School, entering the MUNAL, as part of the latter´s founding endowment, in 1982.