Martin Harris, Ana Rosa Marcos de Ycaza (behind right) and Mark Adams carving a plate, ca. 1947. Gelatin silver print, 9 9/16 x 7 9/16 in. (24.3 x 19.2 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Gift of Robert Flynn Johnson, 2004.140.7.3. Courtesy estate of Martin Harris.
Ana Rosa Marcos de Ycaza, A Tinieba, 1948. Etching, aquatint, and soft ground etching, 10 7/8 x 6 7/8 in. Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchase. Digital Image © Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY.
Ana Rosa Marcos de Ycaza, Veronica, 1948. Aquatint, plate: 14 7/8 x 17 5/8 in. (37.8 x 44.7 cm), sheet: 20 x 24 ¼ in. (50.7 x 61.6 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gift of Reba and Dave Williams, 2008.115.1441.

55. Ana Rosa Marcos de Ycaza

Life Dates1915-2013
Place of BirthNew York, NY, USA
Place of DeathNew York, NY, USA
Birth NameAna Rosa Marcos

Born in New York City to a prestigious family from Guayaquil, Ecuador, Ana Rosa Marcos de Ycaza explored surrealist imagery as a member of Atelier 17 in the second half of the 1940s. Although de Ycaza remains almost completely unknown today, Hayter, who was never overgenerous with praise, wrote that de Ycaza “had something promising, really important” and was “one of the most talented people we had.”1 In A Tinieba, 1948, included in the Atelier 17 group show at Grace Borgenicht Gallery in 1951, de Ycaza combined aquatint, etching and softground etching to create a vision of a mysterious, large-headed figure emerging from a shadowy background. She made about twenty unique images during her time at the studio, all of which explored the contrasts of black and white.2 Marcos de Ycaza also modeled during this period, and there are fashion spreads.3 Her trajectory before and after Atelier 17 are unclear. She was in the United States as a result of her husband’s diplomatic position (Ramon de Ycaza was the Consul-General of Ecuador in San Francisco), and it is possible the couple returned to Ecuador for some time, though De Ycaza ultimately lived in New York City where she died in 2013.4


  1. William Stanley Hayter, letters to Peter Grippe, October 3 and November 27, 1952, Allentown Art Museum, The Grippe Collection.
  2. In roughly 2015, Kevin Johnson, an antiques dealer based in Georgia, purchased several Louis Vuitton trunks from an estate auction. Inside, he found about art supplies, copper plates, and prints made by Ana Rosa Marcos de Ycaza. He reported that there were about eighty impressions from about twenty unique images made between 1947 and 1952. Interestingly, the plates were wrapped in a New York Times from August 31, 1952. Johnson sold these prints in groups of twenty, not individually, and has retained some research photographs of the groupings. Kevin Johnson, phone conversation with Christina Weyl, March 8, 2017.
  3. Kevin Johnson also found couture clothing packed inside the Louis Vuitton trunks and at least one photo spread of the artist in an unidentified fashion magazine.
  4. Ana R. Marcos de Ycaza, paid obituary in the New York Times, January 30, 2013.