Francisco Toledo (1940 -2019)

Francis Toledo Forbes

The Prince Claus Fund is saddened to learn of the death of Francisco Toledo, giant of the art world, urban hero, and 2000 Principal Prince Claus Laureate, who passed away on 5 September 2019.

The expressionist painter and sculptor was known and loved both for his creative talent and his activism. Toledo's paintings and sculptures were lauded in art circles for their unique new enigmatic visual language. His work centred on the local, inspired by Oaxca’s fauna, colors and traditions. Toledo’s activism was also centred in Oaxaca. Known as El Maestro for his role as a community leader, he started campaigns to save historic buildings, defend green spaces and support local culture in the face of globalization.  

In 2000 he was one of three ‘Urban Heroes’ to receive the Principal Prince Claus Award. “Francisco Toledo (Minatitlán, Oaxaca, Mexico) … created a flourishing artistic climate in the old provincial capital of Oaxaca, which connects with local and Indian traditions. Toledo is greatly appreciated for his original undertakings to save and convert old buildings, for the creating of an original garden and for the establishment of museums,” according to the Prince Claus Awards Committee of 2000.      

As one of the early laureates of the Prince Claus Awards, Francisco was a long-time friend of the Prince Claus Fund. He will be missed.  


Photo Credit: Forbes