José Mariano Fernandez de Lara (1799 - 1892) was a Mexican publisher and printer active in Mexico City the middle to late 19th century. Fernandez de Lara was born in Mexico to a family of silversmiths. Eschewing the smithing trade, he began his printing business around 1822. At the time, printing in Mexico was undergoing a revolution. Prior to Mexican Independence (1821), printing was tightly controlled by the Spanish Crown, who insisted that only those with a Privilegio Real could operate presses. With newfound freedom of the press, and the need for a strong national identity, as well as the development of economical printing techniques like lithography, lead to an explosion of printing in the early 1820s. In 1821 alone the number of presses in Mexico City jumped from 8 to 15. His earliest work was crude, exhibiting little skill, but a passion for political canvassing for thought-leaders of the day, among them Fernández de Lizardi (1776 - 1827) and Gómez Farías (1781 - 1858). He soon became a master printer, employing the best Mexican engravers and typesetters of the generation. The Lara press prospered until the late 19h century, issuing books, atlases, posters, religious works, and more. Ultimately, the firm's business began to dry up as more advanced printing techniques led to greater competition. The firm closed its doors in 1878 and Lara himself died in 1892.

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